Bay to Breakers is more than a foot race; it’s hands down the earliest free for all party in the country and it’s totally San Francisco. Where else could you run naked down city streets with an open beer at 9am and not get arrested? Tens of thousands of people dress in wild costumes every year and the biggest task for police is having their photo taken with tourists. But apparently it isn’t always that under control with free-for-all drinking; it can get a little rowdy. Controversy is now brewing over new rules to kill booze at the event as it approaches it’s 100 year anniversary. After the major sponsor pulled out, plans emerged to ban floats (that are perfect for toting kegs) and all drinking. You can also expect to see more cops in 2011. In the meantime, a group called Citizens for the Preservation of Bay2Breakers calls the argument for cleaning up the race a sham, saying there are only a small number of people who get out of hand and killing booze will kill the tradition.
No plans to stop people from donning their birthday suit or just covering up their private parts with neon paint. It is an amazing event with live bands lining the streets right down to the ocean. This year I discovered it’s a different age group than you might expect looking for those daring derrieres to jog on by. I covered a lot of territory to capture this and it was one discovery after another. Bay to Breakers is sort of like Ike and Tina Turner’s rendition of ‘Proud Mary’ – it starts off slow, but then it delivers… ‘nice and rough’. This event was created nearly 100 years ago as a community unifier after the 1906 earthquake. It wasn’t quite as wild back then, but one would think it was more so in the 70’s. In 2010, it still raises an eyebrow — plenty weird but plenty powerful.