Event Guide: Italian Heritage Parade, Castro Street Fair

Get ready for the Columbus Day Parade and the Castro County Fair!

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Christopher Columbus is coming to town -- and San Francisco is hosting its own County Fair?

All on the same day? Yes indeed -- that's how it goes when the Castro Street Fair and the Italian-American Heritage Parade are on the same day.

All things Italian are celebrated at 12:30 p.m. at the foot of Jefferson and Stockton streets at the doors of North Beach for the parade. And Castro at Market Street is closed off beginning at 11 a.m. for the fair. This is all on Sunday, remember.

This year's parade Grand Marshal is Mike Sangiacomo, the president and CEO of waste-disposal company Recology. Please, hold The Sopranos jokes.

This is the city's 144th Italian Heritage Parade, according to reports. The parade ends at Washington Square Park, where there is a Ferrari showing. Ciao, bella.

North Beach is notoriously car-unfriendly, so feel free to take the Muni Metro to Montgomery Street and take a bus up Kearny Street. The F-Market can be taken to the wharf, and then the Columbus bus goes up Columbus Avenue through the heart of North Beach.

The Castro Street Fair is 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Castro and Market streets in San Francisco's iconic Castro neighborhood.

This year's theme? America and apple pie. Yee-ha: it's County Fair 2012.

As if the neighborhood's very own county fair wasn't enough, there are also plenty of tunes. Music acts include Le Vice, Ethel Merman, and the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus.

Parking is bad enough in the neighborhood without a throng of people flocking to the area, so transit officials encourage revelers to walk, bike, take a taxi or transit. Leave those cars at home (as if you own one anyway).

The nearest Muni Metro station is Castro. The F-Market train also terminates nearby. BART passengers can transfer at Civic Center or at 16th and Mission streets to bus lines.

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