San Francisco loves a holiday and Halloween is one of the city’s favorites. I moved to the city on All Hallows Eve in 1998 and fell in love with the antics of the bedecked, and bedazzled San Franciscans traipsing through the Castro until the wee hours of the morning. Thirteen years later and the forty-some odd year informal and unplanned costume parade in the heart of the Castro is no more but the city’s love of this holiday lives on. The City and County stopped the Castro event a few years ago after outbreaks of violence in the growing crowds, and encourages parties and events in other neighborhoods – so there is still plenty to do on Halloween night in the city by the Bay and this year is no exception. There will be tons to do around town for kids and adults alike.
On October 22, 2010, you can check out what used to be one of Halloween’s hottest tickets, the Exotic Erotic Ball. This year is the thirty-first year of the event, which is decadence personified and where an outlandish a costume is de rigueur. Every year I say I’m going to pull out my pink feather boa and platform shoes for this annual party and maybe this year is the one.
If you head to the Exploratorium, you can check out Creature Feature – a family event on October 31, 2010 from 12-4. Wear your costume and be a mad scientist as you make sugar skulls and other creepy things. This is one of my favorite museums – it’s interactive and you learn while having fun and for Halloween I can just imagine the tricks these wacky scientists have up their sleeves for the kiddies.
If you head to Noe Valley at sixish, you will spy a procession of little pirates, princesses, superheroes ducking in and out of the stores on 24th Street between Castro and Church. An annual event sponsored by the Noe Valley Merchants, the parade is way for kids (accompanied by parents) to get in a bit of safe and fun trick or treating and every store on the block gives out candy, cupcakes or some other frightful treat. Last year, I sat in the window at a Bernie’s a cozy coffee shop little coffee shop tucked in the first floor of a lavender and white victorian and watched – it reminded of the costume parade around the school when I was little.
The big event is at the Port of San Francisco on 3rd Street at Terry A. Francois Blvd. The party kicks off at 5 pm and goes until the fireworks at 10 pm. Dancing, bands, costume contests, pumpkin pie eating, a haunted house, carnival rides, and movies for your enjoyment. So if you’re looking for something to do this Halloween there’s definitely a spooky spot for you…I’m not sure where I’ll be but be sure some tricks and treats will definitely be involved.