Outside of summit itself, San Francisco gears up for multiple APEC events

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Thursday, November 9, 2023
Outside of summit itself, SF gears up for multiple APEC events
Away from the diplomats and heads of state gathered in San Francisco for APEC, other important events will be happening around the city too.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco is gearing up to host APEC, its biggest international event in decades.

But away from the diplomats and heads of state gathered at the Moscone Center, other important events will be happening around the city too.

2023 APEC summit: Everything to know about San Francisco road closures, security and more

"I think this is a real opportunity for the city. It's certainly an economic opportunity. Upwards of 30,000 people are going to be coming here and they're going to be going back telling their stories about what they saw," said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman.

Mandelman is spearheading one of those events at Beaux - a gay bar in the Castro.

Cleverly called GAYPEC, Mandelman says it's aimed at LGBTQ+ APEC attendees - many of whom come from countries where gay rights are little to nonexistent.

MORE: SF Chinatown's leaders expect tourism boost during APEC summit despite tight security

"We thought if APEC is going to be happening in San Francisco, it's got to be gay, it's got to be queer and we're trying to have a little bit of that for that week," Mandelman said.

Many of the events happening are more than just fun things to do during the APEC summit though. Several of the organizers tell me they're a way to promote San Francisco and our values while also pushing back on the doom loop narrative in both national and international media.

Perhaps nowhere is that more true than in Chinatown - one of the city neighborhoods hit the hardest over the past few years.

"We have shows at the Clarion with the Red Avenue Follies, we have disco music going on out on Grant Avenue next week," said Steven Lee.

Lee owns several small Chinatown businesses.

MORE: Day-by-Day timeline of APEC Summit in San Francisco

He says there are dozens of events planned in the area throughout the APEC summit, starting with an Asian night market this weekend.

"For people who are visiting, they'll find new and unique flavors that are unique to San Francisco Chinatown, but they can also hopefully feel like they're home. A taste of familiarity," said Jonathan Sit, a BeChinatown volunteer.

Across town, Supervisor Joel Engardio is also planning ways to push back against the doom loop.

Taking place on the last day of the summit, his Summit to Sunset happy hour and bike ride aims to show off the joyful side of San Francisco by cycling with locals and visitors from Golden Gate Park to the ocean.

"We want to introduce people to the wonderful Sunset District. I feel like a lot if happening out here on the west side of San Francisco. And we want to bring people out to see all the amazing things that are happening in the Sunset," Engardio said.

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