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International Pow Wow returns to San Francisco in May 2011

[b]International Pow Wow returns to San Francisco in May 2011[/b]

It’s been 19 years since International Pow Wow was held in San Francisco. The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau (SFCVB) and the city’s hospitality industry are planning to show off what’s new when Pow Wow returns to San Francisco May 21-25, 2011.

“Of course we’ll feature the iconic images everybody knows and loves — the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square and the cable cars. But the city has become much more dynamic, more eclectic in terms of everything from architecture to restaurants to attractions,” said SFCVB President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro. “They are going to see a brand new San Francisco, beginning with their arrival at the state-of-the-art International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport and Terminal 2, which will be completely renovated in time for Pow Wow 2011.”

As always, the main event at International Pow Wow will be the three days of pre-scheduled appointments between thousands of international buyers, domestic suppliers and global media at Moscone Center. The destination’s popularity is expected to attract unusually large attendance, creating even more business opportunities than ever.

“We know what works for Pow Wow and what makes San Francisco special. The results will be a Pow Wow that people will be talking about for the next two decades,” said Rodney Fong, chairman of the task force for San Francisco International Pow Wow 2011, and current president of the San Francisco Convention and Visitor Bureau’s Board of Directors. “Our planning team has several hundred years of combined Pow Wow experience, so we know how to meet and exceed the demands of hosting this event.”

When the last appointment of the day ends, it’s San Francisco’s time to shine. Three evening events will showcase very different parts of the city.

The Opening Night event on Sunday, May 22, 2011 will be an «Only in San Francisco» experience. Titled “Rock the Night,” it kicks off in the late afternoon aboard Alcatraz Cruises with stunning views of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges and the city’s dramatic skyline on the way to Alcatraz Island. On exclusive private tours, attendees will walk in the footsteps of Al Capone and learn secrets about the life of prison inmates and correctional officers. National Park Rangers will guide attendees past Civil War canons, rediscovered historic gardens and into the infamous former penitentiary. Hornblower Cruises & Events’ San Francisco Belle will be stationed dockside with copious appetizers and cocktails.

As the sun sets and the city lights start to glow, party-goers will go ashore at PIER 39 for fresh seafood, California wines, creative cocktails, clam chowder, burgers, pasta dishes, warm sour dough bread, decadent desserts and more. Attendees can explore the Aquarium of the Bay, take a spin on the San Francisco Carousel, try their luck at Players Arcade, visit the famous sea lions or get lost in the new Infinite Mirror Maze. PIER 39’s 110 shops and attractions will be open and rolling out the red carpet for Pow Wow guests. The evening continues with live music and dancing by the bay.

On Tuesday, May 24, 2011 the California Academy of Sciences, de Young Museum and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) will treat Pow Wow attendees to “An Evening in Golden Gate Park.”

The Park’s historic music concourse will be the site of an SFO-hosted food, drink and entertainment-filled gala featuring unique San Francisco dishes and performers. A special performance by Beach Blanket Babylon, the «Only in San Francisco» cabaret show, is being developed.

Meanwhile, more wonderful food and drink and entertainment will fill two of the newest and most acclaimed museums in the United States, the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum, which surround the music concourse.

The California Academy of Sciences, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, is topped with a stunning living roof that mirrors San Francisco’s surrounding hills. Inside guests will party in the Steinhart Aquarium, an underwater wonderland complete with a living Philippine coral reef, see the latest show in the world’s largest all-digital planetarium, explore exotic corners of the globe through dynamic natural history exhibits, and see scientists at work in an active project lab.

Across the concourse, the de Young Museum, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog and de Meuron, is one of San Francisco’s premier event venues. The museum’s state-of-the-art facility integrates art, architecture and the natural landscape of Golden Gate Park. The evening’s events will take place throughout the museum space including the grand angular dimensions of Wilsey court, the outdoor terrace and sculpture garden, and the impressive observation tower with 360-degree views of San Francisco and a unique bird’s eye view of the dazzling Music Concourse Event.

Details of the third and final party will be announced soon. It will be held in an entirely different San Francisco neighborhood and is guaranteed to end International Pow Wow in an unforgettable style befitting this legendary destination.

Hotels for International Pow Wow 2011 will be located within walking distance of Moscone Center, from the hip South of Market district to the classic Union Square area.

Pre and post Pow Wow tours of California are being hosted by the California Travel and Tourism Commission, with opportunities to explore nearly every corner of the Golden State.

The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization that markets the city as a leisure, convention and business travel destination. With nearly 1,700 members, the SFCVB is one of the largest membership-based tourism promotion agencies in the country. Tourism, San Francisco’s largest industry, generates in excess of $8.5 billion annually for the local economy. The SFCVB business offices are located at 201 Third St., Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94103. The Bureau also operates the Visitor Information Center at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market Street at the corner of Powell and Market streets. For more information, call 415-974-6900 or visit

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop links with more than 30 international points on 25 international carriers. The Bay Area’s largest airport connects non-stop with more than 65 cities in the U.S. on 20 domestic airlines. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit

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