Need to Know
Recent Bay to Breakers sponsor, Zappos, describes the race as, "A quintessential San Francisco experience since 1912; the race is interwoven into the fabric of the city and is a true reflection and celebration of life between the breakers and the Bay." With more than 30,000 participants and 100,000 observers, there are plenty of people to celebrate. Traditionally there's tortilla tossing, nudity, floats, loads of alcohol, and of course, costumes.
Though it's not all fun and games. In 2009, a 30 year old man was sucker punched in the stomach, and later died due to complications. That same year, an alleged acid trip turned bad after "a young man reportedly ripped out hair of a female participant, threw another women to the ground, and spat at a cop after tearing out his badge."
These offenses combined with the tons of trash left over caused new regulations to emerge. According to SF Gate, "police will cite or arrest anybody openly drinking alcohol or appearing to be drunk, and will physically remove floats and any other items on wheels like shopping carts with kegs in them, officials declared." Many participants feared the new rules would diminish the event experience. That was 7 years ago.
How have these rules effected bay to breakers in recent years?
You wont find floats, but there's still tons of people in costume, some nude, and all are carrying alcohol. In my experience, unless the vodka bottle rolls onto a cop's foot, no one will throw away your alcohol. But in case they do, here's a map, courtesy of SFist, of all the liquor stores along the route.
Tortilla tossing was not allowed in the past few years, but wasn't mentioned in the 2016 rulebook, according to Sf Fun Cheap. The sit also mentions that nudity, which usually is not allowed, is permitted for special events like Bay to Breakers.
The race kicks off at 8 am on May 15 at the intersection of Main St. and Howard St. Bay to Breakers is San Francisco earliest costume party of the year. Attendants are in costumes by dawn, drunk by the race's start, and asleep by 5pm. Costumes are so essential, there's a costume contest. There's still time to plan a great group costume. To help you, here's 6 easy costume ideas great for groups at bay to breakers.
Group Costume Ideas
1. Political Candidates
Donald Drumpf shockingly is still around, so why not dress up as him for the bay to breakers? With this mask on you can say crazy things with almost no offense! Complete the costume with his signature red hat, and tiny hands. The Hilary mask is equally amusing when worn with a slutty dress, presumably bought by someone else. Dressing up as Bernie Sanders is easy for guys who already have a suit on hand. Just add some reading glasses and a grey wig, to wise up sanders style.
2. Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones finally aired again last month. Not sure about you, but I'm extremely stocked and worried for the new season. We've past the books, hopefully the writers can mimic the amazing writing style of George R.R. Martin. Either way, obsessed fans can dress up like Jon Snow, Khaleesi, or Sansa Stark. This is great for large groups. Some cheaper more generic game of thrones costumes include a Dorne style Women's Dress and Lanaster style armor suit.
3. Marvel Comics
4. Zombie Celebrities
This theme is added with hesitations, for fear of frightening some hippie tripping or flipping participant. Remember the guy, who on acid pulled out some poor ladies hair and came down with 6 felonies in 2009? Ya you don't want to freak that guy out with fast moving zombies plowing through town. Having said that, the things of our nightmares don't need to stay on the big screen or only come out for Halloween. Plus it's a cheap and easy costume. All you need are clothes from your closet and makeup- specifically grey and black eye shadow, lip stick, blush, and eye/lip liner. Throw some blush on your collar or sleeve to give a dried blood feel to your outfit.
5. Angry Birds
Angry birds have come a long way from game to featured film. Fly around in this costume, looking for the infamous salmon to catch.
Salmon costumes are always popular at Bay to Breakers. Salmon runners start at Ocean Beach and run up stream to the starting point in the Embarcadero.
7. Tree Costume
Watch out for me and the other tree hut employees. We'll be dressed as a forest. If you want to do the same, check out this DIY video on making a tree costume from cardboard. There's just one difference between our costume and the below tree, we'll be haunted by wooden watches, which you'll see hanging off our twig fingers and branches.
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