San Francisco officials announce curtailment
of Halloween festivities
City leaders convened a news conference yesterday at City Hall
to announce steps to ensure a safe Halloween.
By Lara Moscrip, Bay City News Service
October 31, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Apache helicopters won't be swirling
overhead and San Francisco police won't be checking the IDs of
partygoers, but the message this year for Halloween festivities
in the Castro is smaller, earlier and less alcoholic, according
to city leaders.
Mayor Gavin Newsom announced yesterday that troublemakers who
plan to join in with the 250,000 revelers expected to cram a few
city blocks in the Castro do so at "their own peril."
Mayor Gavin Newsom
San Francisco sheriff's deputies will be checking for containers
of alcohol and weapons at various checkpoints around the nine
pedestrian gates into the street party.
Newsom announced at the news conference in City Hall that there
will be 25 percent more police ready to enforce a "zero tolerance"
policy toward any illegal activities.
And any partygoers or residents on the wrong side of city traffic
laws will most likely make a mandatory contribution to the city's
general fund in the form of a parking ticket or a tow, according
to Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who represents the Castro District.
Newsom cited the 2002 stabbings of five people and the difficulties
emergency responders had in getting to victims of violence as
reasons for caution for Tuesday's party.
"I don't want anyone to think that San Francisco's entertainment
days are behind us," Newsom said. "But you don't walk
in (to the crowd) with a working chainsaw. It's our job to take
The subject of a curfew surfaced during the news conference,
with Newsom encouraging partygoers not to linger until the early
"It'll be obvious as to when people should leave. The Department
of Public Works will be out there scrubbing the sidewalks,"
Supervisor Bevan Dufty accepted that the decision to cut the
number of performance stages from three to one and to start fading
the festivities after 11 p.m. might rile some constituents.
"I've been here for four years and I'm willing to take a
little heat," he said.
Supervisor Bevan Dufty
Dufty encourages would-be partygoers to "make a plan come
early, the streets are closed off after 6 p.m., spend a couple
hours, then figure out a club or another venue to go to."
According to the Web site http://halloweeninthecastro.com, the
San Francisco Municipal Railway will run on a normal schedule
until 9:30 p.m.
After that time, the MUNI metro service will switch to a construction
schedule with trains arriving less frequently. The MUNI station
at the intersection of Castro and Market streets will remain open
Additional buses will run between downtown (Spear Street) and
Church at Market streets from 6 p.m. on, stopping aboveground
at all MUNI Metro stops.
Between 6 and 10 p.m., buses will only carry passengers from
downtown to Church at Market streets. After 10 p.m., buses will
only carry passengers away from Church at Market streets in the
direction of downtown.
According to the Web site, passengers are asked to use the buses
departing from Church at Market streets to leave the event, as
the buses will come more frequently than the MUNI Metro trains.
Copyright © 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication,
Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent
of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.