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Going to San Francisco this weekend? With major events planned, drivers should leave early or should be prepared to sit in traffic on Highway 101 in southern Marin County and especially along the Marina Green area of San Francisco.

It’s Fleet Week, and the its air shows Saturday and Sunday typically bring hundreds of thousands of people to San Francisco, often choking traffic across the Golden Gate Bridge. The shows start at 12:30 p.m. each day with the Navy’s elite Blue Angels flying from 3 to 4 p.m. The Blue Angels are scheduled to practice 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday and 3 to 4 p.m. Friday. Go early to find a good spot to watch. The Blue Angels are simply amazing.

Adding to the congestion will be fans of America’s Cup, with its World Series races in San Francisco Bay on Thursday through Sunday afternoon. The event itself is expected to draw about 150,000 spectators to the Marina Green area.

And then there’s:

–The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival Friday to Sunday  in Golden Gate Park.

–The Giants have playoff games both Saturday and Sunday at AT&T Park.

–The 49ers play the Buffalo Bills at 1:25 p.m.  Sunday at Candlestick.

–Cal and Stanford both have home games on Saturday.

–Teen heartthrob Justin Bieber plays the Oracle Arena in Oakland on Saturday.

–Madonna is at HP Pavilion in San Jose on Saturday and Sunday.

–The Petaluma Pumpkin Patch is open along Highway 101 in northern Petaluma, and in every past year it’s brought southbound 101 to its knees as drivers slow to gawk at the corn maze and hundreds of people looking for the right pumpkin. But with 101 now three lanes southbound, traffic should flow better but we wait to see.

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