San Francisco’s Wackiest Traditions

San Francisco is a city filled with grownup children who have escaped to Neverland. (Read more on “Peter Pan Syndrome” here.) Whether or not that is your cup of tea, it has certainly lead to a variety of homegrown city wide traditions that are, well, better experienced in person. The largest, like the Burning Man Festival, have outgrown the city and moved on to larger pastures. Lucky for you, these five are still kicking in the 7×7- and they’re all free to participate in!

1. Annual “No Pants” BART Ride Day

Ever feel the desire to ride public transportation san-pants? Well if you’re one of the shy majority who waits to do that sort of thing in a large, slightly more anonymous group, then we know what you should be doing this Sunday. The “No Pants” ride has happened annually for the last 14 years, beginning back in 2002 with an Improv Everywhere stunt pulled in NYC.

2. Bring Your Own Big Wheel

Unknown to many of San Francisco’s tourists, the most crooked street in the city is not Lombard Street. It is, in fact, Vermont Street over in Potrero Hill. Every year on Easter Sunday the locals pay homage to this fact (or that’s what we assume they’re doing) by dressing up in costumes, imbibing various courage inducing beverages, a racing child sized big wheel trikes down the street. (We definitely encourage taking more of a spectator role on this one).

3. Bay to Breakers

Bay to Breakers is the crown gem of San Francisco’s ridiculous traditions. The event consists of a 12K road race from the bay to the ocean, which begins at 8AM on a Sunday in May, and is generally run by moderate to serious athletes. Everyone in town not registered to run in the race gets up at 7AM to don costumes and begin binge drinking until they are ready to hit the streets. Inebriated San Franciscan’s then make their way along the course in hopes of either making it to Ocean Beach, or at the very least making it home when the event ends.

4. Annual (Anti) Valentine’s Day Pillow Fight

What began as an anti-Valentine’s day tradition in San Francisco has grown to be an annual Valentine’s day event for singles and couples alike. The tradition started back in 2006, after word was spread by a wikipedia post.

5. SantaCon

SantaCon is a tradition that has now spread to cities across the world, but it was originally instigated in SF back in 1994. Unsurprisingly, SantaCon involves masses dressing up in many variations of old Saint Nick and converging in Union Square. One particularly bad Santa used the opportunity to rob a bank during the 2014 celebration. We’re pretty sure he ended up with coal.


About the Author // Eliza Dropkin is the newest member of Vantigo. She enjoys live music, good food, and cruising around town in Jerry (the other newest member of Vantigo).

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