Parklet crawl and Rocky Horror circus: What to do in San Francisco this week

By Johnny Funcheap

By Johnny Funcheap

Special to The Examiner

Mardi Gras Parklet Crawl

San Francisco’s Carnaval festival and grand parade doesn’t happen for another few months (May 28-29), but that doesn’t stop the organizers from celebrating early and bringing a bit of Carnaval to Fat. Samba your way through the Mission to the beat of Brazilian drummers, Aztec dance troupes and bands playing lively soca, cubmia and rumba during the free Mardi Gras Parklet Crawl. Performances take place throughout the historic “Calle 24” Latino Cultural District at 10 parklets clustered around 24th Street, BART and along Valencia and Mission streets (map). Tuesday, 5-9 p.m., S.F. Free. carnavalsanfrancisco.org

(Courtesy The Village Project)

(Courtesy The Village Project)

Mardi Gras S.F style

If you see a bunch of people wearing beads and colorful costumes following a brass band pumping out New Orleans style jams through the streets of the Fillmore, then you’ve just found Mardi Gras San Francisco Style. The 16th annual festival kicks off with a free outdoor community concert performed by Grammy-nominated Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic and blues diva Tia Carroll. Sandwiched between the concerts the Gumbo Band gets things moving, brassing out blues, jazz and dixieland to kick off the traditional second line processional starting at Golden Gate Avenue., letting their good times roll all over Fillmore Street. Tuesday, 5-10 p.m., Fillmore Center Plaza, 1475 Fillmore at O’Farrell, S.F. Free but RSVP required. funcheap.com

(Courtesy Great Star Theater)

(Courtesy Great Star Theater)

‘Rocky Horror Circus Show’

This definitely isn’t your parents’ “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Normally when you see this cult classic film you get a “shadow cast” of performers acting out scenes in front of the movie screen and prompting the crowd to join in. But “The Rocky Horror Circus Show” doesn’t just settle for traditional group singalongs and rice throwing. Instead, you’ll be treated to a full-on naughty circus show with a tight-wire Time Warp, contortionists, pole dancing and aerial acrobatics at an historic 1925 Chinatown theater. Come ready for a wild high-flying night filled with sweet transvestites and virgins being sacrificed. Note, masks are required, but pants may not be. Thursday to Saturday, Through March 19, 9 p.m., Great Star Theater, 636 Jackson St., S.F. $25. greatstartheater.org

(Courtesy Garden Media)

(Courtesy Garden Media)

100,000 pick-your-own tulips

Saturday is National Sock Monkey Day, along with Absinthe Day and Cheese Doodle Day. But thankfully it’s also Flower Bulb Day, so San Francisco’s Union Square is getting covered with a massive colorful garden of about 100,000 tulips that are yours for the picking. As part of a promotion to celebrate International Women’s Day — and to advertise flower bulbs from the European Union that are grown in the United States — you’re invited to pick a free bouquet as a gift to a woman who has inspired you. Why can’t there be 100,000 free sock monkeys, too? Saturday, 1-4:30 p.m., Union Square, S.F. Free. funcheap.com

(Courtesy de Young Museum)

(Courtesy de Young Museum)

Free Saturdays: de Youngsters day out

If your kid thinks museums that feature 17th-century paintings are basic, this might change their mind. This week the de Young is adding in tons of family-friendly and hands-on activities so kids will have to try extra hard to seem bored. Play an “I Spy” game of historical hints, learn how to create hip-hop beats and write your own rap song, or make art you can eat with “The Great Tortilla Conspiracy.” Yup, here’s chance to put art directly on tortillas! Plus, the inspirational ‘80s fashion design exhibition “Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love” will be frees with tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis. Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., de Young Museum: Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, S.F. Free for Bay Area residents, but tickets required, deyoung.famsf.org

Visit Funcheap.com for a hand-picked list of more fun, free and cheap things to do in San Francisco.

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