The swallows return to Capistrano in the spring, right whales swim to Antarctica in the summer, and the bears return to Folsom Street in the fall. Whether you're a seasoned Folsomer or (gasp!) brand new, a couple of reminders about what to do (and in a cases, not do) to get the most of it:
Don't forget: This week's fair is a week earlier and one block over from its usual spot, now stretching from 8th to 13th. If no one told you yet, you're welcome.
Don't be afraid to be a tourist: Really, it's okay. If you just want to show up in your usual khakis-and-flip-flops Sunday wear and gawk a little bit at how the other half lives, nobody will mind (although watch your open toes—lot of boots out there). Yeah, you'll look out of place...but in this crowd, what's it matter?
Do give us the Full Monty (if you want to): The Powers that Be were kind enough to include a proviso in the city's public nudity moratorium that declared stripping down at Folsom perfectly okay, so if the mood strikes, feel free to leave much, much more than your coat at the coat check.
Do remember that you're being photographed: For a lot of you that's the whole point, and more power to you. But the rest of us should keep in mind that those pictures go a lot of places in the Internet age, and grandma has a smart phone too. Masks and headgear are good for privacy on top of their more immediate appeal.
Do stop by Venus' Playground—if you're allowed: Ladies of all shapes, sizes, and identities can pop over into the women's area on 9th Street anytime. Maybe you're more comfortable over there, or maybe you'd like to stop in just because you want to check out Blue Charisma Burlesque, the Five Star Rope suspension, or Ms. Tender's Pink Cheeks are Happy Cheeks playlab. And guys: Don't be dicks about this, okay?
Do buy local: On top of just general good times and sense of community, Folsom is a great opportunity to support local businesses. Get your coffee from Wicked Grounds, toys from the Frugal Domme ("Quality toys for discriminating Tops at reasonable prices!"), and chaps from Mr S. Leather, and do your part to support your local kinky merchant. Because buying your chaps off Amazon is so vanilla.
Do find Jesus (if you want): The Freedom in Christ Evangelical Church, San Francisco's always-supportive, LGBT-inclusive church, will be on hand to spread the word that being queer and being kinky is perfectly okay with Jesus. Even if you're not feeling it, at least stop and say hello—after all, they're nice people.
Do get flogged for a good cause: As always, the Society of Janus will have a flogging and spanking booth open to all attendees, and as always, the money goes to charity—as the organization says, "we only as that you give until it hurts." So you'll have an excuse. It's not that you like that kind of thing. You were just thinking of those in need, right?
Do skip the before-party, head to the after-party: Magnitude, the official Saturday pre-party on Treasure Island, is $100 bucks. Deviants, the official Sunday night post-party on Jessie Street is $30. Sorry, Magnitude guys, but money talks.