The Weird Zone

Do you celebrate how weird you are?

You wouldn’t be alone if you do. Thousands of residents from the Bay Area have been celebrating their weirdness for the past 16 years with a huge block party. The block party shuts down Howard Street and 2nd Street in the heart of San Francisco. It’s called The How Weird Street Faire.

The 16th Annual How Weird Street Faire took place on a seasonally warm and cloudless Sunday on April 26th. There was an hour-long wait for the menagerie to enter the faire, which stretched down 2nd, Mission, and around the corner of New Montgomery Street.

The sound of electronic music thumping and evident excitement of people droving to the faire, in their expressively “weird” outfits, put a state of wonder among the unaware San Franciscans in the area. Even furry friends made it in their funky pet-friendly outfits, but this wasn’t Coachella nor Burning Man…it was better.

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The Weird Street Faire brought artists, businesspeople, techies, parents and all kinds of individuals together to celebrate art, dance, peace, and technology and of course their oddest self. Art installations decorated the streets, the sky and ten electronic music stages produced by Symbiosis, Temple Nightclub and many more. There were also art galleries from local artists, aerialists from Skyhigh Odditoirum AiReal Alchemists, and belly dancers from San Francisco’s Underground Nomads.

It was National Dance Week, so a variety of dancers took the stage including Bollywood dancers and an impromptu dance mob integrating the audience.  A hula-hoop station welcomed anybody and everybody to just grab one and hula-hoop away. There was dancing, drinking, eating, body painting, and peculiar arts and crafts vending such as Whacky Whistles.  Smoking pipes, psychedelic t-shirts, embroidered blankets, beaded necklaces, and colorful brocade tops were also among the products sold from the local vendors.

The midday ravers slowly made their way out of the event area at around eight in the evening, only to anticipate next year’s affair.  People nonchalantly passed a van that offered cats tarot readings. San Francisco has not lost its eccentric culture— it is still a a strange, friendly and curious place with so much to explore among the community.  Tourists seeking an exceptional time should plan their trip around the Weird Street Faire.  And not forget to bring their wackiest outfit, because this is the place to wear it to.

Photo Credit: Modest Materialist

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