Monday, February 19, 2007

No More How Weird Street Faire?

This week the How Weird Street Fair had their application for 2007 turned down by SF city agency ISCOTT after complaints by residents about noise and crowds - details are in this San Francisco Bay Guardian editorial. I was there for the first How Weird, and for me it has always marked the beginning of both the Burning Season and San Francisco's ritual feast calendar that culminates with Halloween. According to the SFBG, the venerable Haight Street Fair is in danger as well. Both of these events may yet be saved by determined activist work, but their threatened existence is a sad indicator of how the open civic gatherings that brought together races and classes are being challenged by monied, home-owning elites who are more interested in keeping "those people" away from their neighborhoods than in embracing the values that these events seek to endorse. Let's hope that the coming crash in property prices will also bring about a city-wide attitude adjustment.

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