The National Park Picnic is Reimagined with Food and Ethnic Dance that Celebrates the Diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area. Imagine a large grassy field overlooking the Bay. The Golden Gate Bridge in the background. Add food trucks serving delicious ethnic cuisine, large, spirited crowd and music.
Beginning Sunday, March 18, the Presidio of San Francisco national park welcomes the return of its popular weekly community gathering – Presidio Picnic – for its sixth season. This year the free event, presented by the Presidio Trust in partnership with Off the Grid, brings a special focus to the food and cultures of our diverse Bay Area community by introducing a free cultural dance performance on the fourth Sunday of each month.
Happening every Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm through October 21, Presidio Picnic takes place on the Presidio’s beautiful Main Parade Ground, an expansive seven-acre lawn with views of the park, the city and the San Francisco Bay. In addition to the new monthly cultural dance performances, Picnic will feature the return of the other elements that visitors love: more than 25 international mobile food creators representing the best of the San Francisco food scene, music, lawn games, yoga, bike safety classes, and nature-based arts and crafts for kids.
Set at the heart of the country’s most visited urban national park, Presidio Picnic will launch with a very special welcome blessing from the Ohlone Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe, which honors the first inhabitants of the Presidio (begins at 11:30 am). An initial list of cultural performances are below, with a full lineup including Asian American Pacific Islander, Latino and African community representatives — to be announced later in the season:
- March 18: Ohlone Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe performs a traditional welcome blessing in their native Chochenyo language to open the season
- April 29: SF Awakkoren Dance Group performs Awa Odori, one of the most well-known Japanese traditional dances with 400 years of history
- May 27: Ballet Folklórico México Danza appears in a colorful, high-energy performance
- June 24: Alafia Dance Ensemble demonstrate the beauty of African Haitian dance
- July 22: China Dance Theatre celebrates the rich heritage of Chinese ethnic and folk dance
“Presidio Picnic invites one and all to enjoy their national park,” says Allison Stone, Director of Park Programs for the Presidio Trust. “Each week Picnic is a gateway for hundreds of people who are experiencing this park for the first time. We hope that visitors enjoy a wonderful picnic on the lawn and then return to explore the other amazing national park experiences that can be had here. The Presidio features miles of walking trails, sandy beaches, forests, hidden springs, historic sites, public events, and spectacular vistas – all free to enjoy. The best place to discover the Presidio’s offerings is the award-winning Presidio Visitor Center – right at the doorstep of the Presidio Picnic.”
“Presidio Picnic has evolved deeper into the roots of the community each year, which is why we’re thrilled to build upon the rich history and diversity of visitors by showcasing a wider selection of international cuisines and cultural experiences,” says Off the Grid Founder Matt Cohen. “This year, we’re really looking forward to partnering with the Presidio Trust to elevate the national park experience with delicious street food from our creator community, family-friendly entertainment and a fun, communal atmosphere that’s welcome to all.”
The rotating lineup of 25 of the Bay Area’s best mobile food concepts at this year’s Presidio Picnic includes:
- Señor Sisig: A mashup of the best that Filipino food and Mexican taquerias have to offer, serving sisig-style (24-hour marinated pork shoulder) tacos, burritos and fries)
- Hot Bird: Oakland-based Nashville-style fried chicken and first-timer at Presidio Picnic
- Little Green Cyclo: Vietnamese street food hits like garlic noodles and banh mi
- Del Popolo: Neapolitan-inspired pizza from a wood-fired oven featuring local, artisanal ingredients
- Slightly Skewed: Asian-style skewers and street foods influenced by the ingredients and flavors of Central and Southeast Asia
- Gyro Stop: gourmet Mediterranean fusion concept specializing in gyro sandwiches, falafels, hummus, and dolmas
- Jackrabbit: creative sliders, sides, and fresh baked treats made with local ingredients from Northern California’s farms and ranches
- Seoul of Taipei: Korean and Taiwanese mash-up concept serving outside-the-box rice bowls, burritos and tacos
- El Pipila: authentic Guanajat cuisine launched through San Francisco’s culinary incubator for low income entrepreneurs, La Cocina and appearing at Presidio Picnic as a Mexican fruit stand
- Cielito Lindo Mexican Street Kitchen: Mexican street food favorites like tacos and tortas topped with roasted steak ranchero, beef barbacoa, chicken mole and veggie estofado
- Spork and Stix: Thai and Korean fusion purveyors serving inventive rice boxes, noodle bowls and sliders
- DUM Truck: Indian soul food classics like chicken biryani, paneer kati rolls and mango lassis
- A full bar presented by Rye on the Road featuring wine, beer, spirits and craft cocktails
For more information on Presidio Picnic: www.presidio.gov/presidio-picnic.