Thursday, September 25, 2008

Halloween is for Everyone

Every now and then, you get a little day-brightner; an unsolicited bit of email that lifts you up.

Below (with his permission) I share a little "day brightner" from local community member/artist Jeffrey Ferns, who is working in support of the Home For Halloween campaign to keep the Castro safe, and also to help "spread the word" that Halloween IS for everyone.

Thanks Jeffrey!

Dear Laura Fraenza and Roberto Hernandez:

Thank you for the inspirational and informative Volunteer meeting tonight regarding Halloween 2008. I had no idea what we were in for given the recent negative press and opinions that have been circulating regarding the event. To be honest I was looking for a way to bow out or not commit myself to this event that the papers portrayed. Instead I walked away proud of the diversity and commitment of the community that sat at the table pitching in and saying “Si Se Puede” and count me in. From the Castro, the Mission, Excelsior, Bay view, West of Twin Peaks, the Sunset, Richmond and Tenderloin, the community came together from every demographic and neighborhood to do what others called impossible or isn’t their issue.

We did not discuss what could not happen we spoke of what could, we did not speak of how much money we did not have, we spoke of what we could contribute. We understand fully the challenges past and present and yes, we still moved forward with tenacity and faith in our abilities and communities. We are San Franciscans, we push back on the swell of unpopular opinion because the collective truth is firm in our hearts. The collective truth of wanting and needing to move away from fear and take back our Halloween from the violence and nay-sayers.

Tonight we began to build an “Altar” of hope community and expectation for Halloween in San Francisco. The expectation that our kids, our grandparents, our partners, our neighbors and our tourists can and will have a safe place representative of our great city to celebrate the history and community that permeates our lives. It is about celebrating diversity, it is about community and yes we have and will continue to come together to create an event worthy of being called Halloween San Francisco Style.

'nuff said.

More anon,

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

5 1/2 Weeks 'Til Halloween

So, the work of spreading the word, reaching out to communities, and partnering with the City Family to ensure a safe and sane Halloween continues.

As of today, the website has listed the following number of events taking place on Friday, October 31:

  • 71 SF (non-Castro) events
  • 13 East Bay events
  • 16 South Bay / Peninsula events

Additionally, there are four other Halloween-themed events taking place prior to the 31st which we have listed.

Please -- help us spread the word! If you are promoting, producing or KNOW of an event taking place on Halloween, tell us about it! Add to that list via the form available on this website.

On Monday, we taped TV Public Service announcements in 10, 15 and 30 second versions. They wil be ready for broadcast/distribution sometime next week. As was the case last year, our thanks to Javier Valencia, Pat Patton and everyone at KRON-TV 4 for their assistance and support.

Next week, we launch our online video contest and continue our outreach/partnership efforts in the East Bay and throughout the Peninsula. Here's the copy -- coming soon to a TV screen (and YouTube page) near you!

Remember, like last year, there is NO party in the Castro. Also - a reminder: wherever you're headed on the evening of Friday, October 31, if you're taking BART into SF, you BETTER be on-the-train-and-on-your-way home by midnight. The VERY last train leaves 16th and Mission at 12:15am Halloween night/November 1; Embarcadero at 12:30am.

It's a long walk home, so keep it CLOSE to home! And -- on Halloween, you won't stand a GHOST of a chance finding parking, so....take BART "early and often" to make it a home-grown Halloween.

More anon,

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Halloween is for families

It's almost October so people must be making Halloween plans. Updates:

An event planned for Parking Lot A, an open space south of Market near the Ballpark, will take place on Friday, October 31 focusing on Halloween's original partiers: kids. Plans include a family-friendly celebration from 4pm 'til 8pm, complete with costume and pie-eating contests, followed by entertainment featuring local musicians and performers beginning at 8pm. Admission is free and open to the public.

We're compiling information from around the Bay Area on other neighborhood and community events -- and expect more. So, now is the time to go and tell us about your event!

As was the case last year, there will be NO official party, entertainment or street closures in the Castro. Bars and restaurants will be open, and we hope they do a booming business. But, a note: there will be very healthy and obvious presence of public safety, peace and alcohol control officerss in the Castro -- so let's keep this October 31 safe, sane and violence free. Gone are the days of 100,000 revelers overflowing Castro Street into the surrounding residential areas.

Next up: in a few days, this year's TV Public Service Announcements will begin airing, and this year's "Home for Halloween Video Contest" will be launch. Stay tuned.

More anon,

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Boo! Halloween Cometh, 2008!

Halloween belongs to all of us. Last year after a successful campaign to keep everyone safe and maintain the Castro’s tranquility, we’re continuing and expanding the“Home for Halloween” campaign ( Like last year there is no party or event in the Castro. But, there will be plenty to do elsewhere and closer to your own “home” neighborhood. Tell us about it! Fill out the form on this website so we can help promote your own "homegrown" Halloween celebration.

This year, on Friday, October 31st, bars and restaurants will remain open in the Castro. However, as was the case last year the streets will not be closed to traffic and public transit is currently planned to run normally. Again, our fine men and women in uniform -- the SFPD, Sheriff’s Office, Parole Officials and others -- will be on hand to deal with anyone who doesn’t get the message.

There will be zero tolerance for behavior which doesn’t respect the celebrated diversity of our communities. And again like last year, there will be zero tolerance for individuals and businesses that do not obey alcohol consumption and distribution regulations.

Like last year, the City will actively promote Halloween events in other San Francisco neighborhoods and Bay Area communities. These events will benefit from the extra marketing push being undertaken by the Home For Halloween campaign. Like last year, this website will have details about what's going on in the North, South, and East Bay.

The fact is this: the Halloween celebration of years past has simply outgrown the Castro. Castro & Market and the surrounding neighborhoods are not an appropriate venue for crowds in excess of 100,000 people! Businesses and residents alike are tired of having their “home” dis-respected.

No more.

Last year, the City Family and Mayor Newsom’s office sent out the message loud and clear. This year, the effort continues, and with your support, we can indeed make October 31 a “home” for celebrations that are fun, festive and respectful. Halloween is for everyone.

In coming days and weeks, our "boo blog" will continue to update the campaign's progress and unveil this year's "BooTube" videos and PSA campaign.

More anon