This year's How Weird Street Faire on Howard Street did not have the marijuana sales permit it had hoped for, but high fashion still stood out at the 20th annual edition. But 20 years on, this celebration of electronic music and SF's weirdo culture is still trying to keep the memory of Old SoMa and OG Burning Man alive.
The Cherry Blossom Festival is technically the first street fair of San Francisco’s spring and summer seasons, but you won’t see anyone naked there. Measuring festivals by that metric, the How Weird Street Faire is the real kickoff to street fair and festival season here in the city, and went down in the Howard and Second Street area on Sunday with the theme “Time Warp: A Love Story.” How Weird is a little different than most street fairs because it’s a hard $20 admission for the nine stages and many art installations, and we don’t have attendance or revenue numbers for yesterday yet. But the Chronicle’s How Weird Street Faire writeup reports that last year 20,000 people attended, and the event raised $35,000 for charitable causes.
Thanks again to #howweirdstreetfaire for another amazing year. Small selection of photos below, full set on flickr here: https://t.co/zE9LLRrRLN#SanFrancisco #sf #streetfaire #SOMA pic.twitter.com/okVfv5wI8t— Bhautik Joshi (@bhautikj) May 6, 2019
As with many San Francisco fair and festival events, Bhautik Joshi’s How Weird Street Faire photoset is your best bet to feel like you were there, or if you were there, relive memories of the people you met and/or tried to hook up with.
How Weird did bring back its marijuana-themed Green Alley, but there were no legal sales or consumption of cannabis at the festival. Sup. Rafael Mandelman’s legislation allowing pot sales and smoking at events has passed, but is not yet in effect as City Hall continues to figure out how they’re going to handle the permit process. It’s a good bet dispensaries will have booths and sell weed and edibles at next year’s How Weird.
The Chron notes that the original How Weird Street Faire 20 years ago was not outdoors, and was in a warehouse called the Consortium of Collective Consciousness in a different part of SoMa. Faire founder Brad Olson says 49% of the proceeds go to education and underprivileged kids.
In the spirit of the Time Warp theme, the event did have a “Dance-off between 1880 and 1980.” Among those representing 1880 was renowned Emperor Norton impersonator Joseph Amster.
Met one of my heroes (despite his having long passed), Emperor Norton I! pic.twitter.com/8gf10rbSPU— Matthew Domville (@mattdomville) May 4, 2019
“Besides keeping Norton’s legacy alive, for me, it’s important to have the Weird Faire,” Amster told the Chronicle. “We’re a weird city. We should celebrate and embrace it every chance we get.”