It’s a Halloween on a weekend under improving pandemic conditions. For many people, the Castro in San Francisco is the place to see people donning costumes and celebrating.
For years, there has not been any kind of street fair here in Castro for Halloween.
Organizers of an outdoor dance event Saturday night said they wanted to give people a new option to celebrate in a COVID-19 safe setting.
Along Market street and Castro, there’s the usual parade of costumes and flair.
For the last 15 years – people have gathered – but not been allowed to take up the street – because there wasn’t an organized event.
Halloween in the Castro was cancelled after 2006, when nine people were injured in a street shooting at the Halloween fair.
There was a large police presence Saturday for safety and to keep people from taking over Castro Street.
Just a block away on Noe Street, in a small outdoor space with live DJ’s and cocktails hosted generations of Castro residents and neighbors.
Organizers said this kind of venue is needed especially in an ongoing pandemic.
“This is a safer, safer, harm free kind of way to gather our community, because we’re outside. And that is a safe alternative for many in our communities as well,” said Joshua Smith, dance event organizer.
San Francisco resident Lizzie Vasquez brought her daughter Evelyn out to the area earlier Saturday afternoon for some treats. “It’s like smaller, it’s cuter, because I can bring them,” said San Francisco resident Lizzie Vasquez. “And then leave, drop them off, and then come back out for more. (laughs)”
In the Castro neighborhood overall, many of the restaurant and shop owners said they are welcoming all the people who are coming back for Halloween after a break last year because of tighter pandemic restrictions.
One restaurant owner told NBC Bay Area that he was all booked up for Saturday evening and workers at the local hardware and crafts shop Cliff Variety.
Some people have been buying up plenty of costume and home decorations this year since they said we are still in a pandemic and San Francisco does still has strict entry rules for going to indoor venues like clubs and restaurants.
One of the local merchants said people need to make sure they bring their vaccination cards with them tonight when heading out to dinner and the clubs because they will be checking.
Source: NBC Bay Area