Without Floats And Especially The Tiki Bar, The Mardi Gras Of The West Coast Not The Same Party
I long for the good ‘ol days, a time when Elvis sang, when the Village People performed on a platform, where there were keg stands, house parties and themed floats rolling down the streets.
It was all part of the Bay to Breakers, a kind of race but really a moving parade through San Francisco, the West Coast’s version of Mardi Gras. It was harmless, silly fun and it was a blast. By Monday, those pushing kegs in grocery store shopping carts and downing drinks on the floats were all back wearing their suits contributing to the financial wealth of a financial city.
Suddenly, though, the dreaded words “alcohol crackdown” began to seep out like beer through a crack in a red plastic cup. Somehow, adults letting loose for a day – always the third Sunday in May, which puts it on May 21 in 2013 – became politically incorrect. And while it’s impossible to stop 75,000 people from drinking, city officials have banned the floats.
And the floats were one of the most fun parts of Bay to Breakers!
My favorite was the rolling tiki bar, an actual bar on wheels with a thatched roof and bamboo design. It had 50 people along with it, who arrived by party bus as a group, with a half dozen of them churning out frozen concoctions from blenders on board, all the while being on the move from the Bay Bridge, to the Breakers, about half of which is through Golden Gate Park.
If you helped them to push the tiki bar, they would give you a drink. I loved to hang out by it because they also played fun party music, and we would dance along with it while going down the street. Doing this to The Discovery Channel song was one of my annual party highlights, it was so much fun.
There were also beer pong tables, stops for beer bongs and tens of thousands of people all in a great mood, smiling and laughing on a usually sunny Sunday afternoon.
My friends and I used to look forward to Bay to Breakers each and every year.
Now, tho, it’s hard to get excited about it. Certainly, we can carry along our concealed cocktails and no one is going to stop us, but that’s not the point. We would be looking over your shoulder during refills and everyone will be more reserved. The overall atmosphere just won’t be the same as it was three, four and more years ago.
And that’s a shame, because Bay to Breakers is a city celebration unique to San Francisco.
If officials want to crack down on something, how about focusing on the unattractive people who do it without clothing. And why is it the ugly people are always the ones who are naked? I’ve seen plenty of girls that I would love to see nude, but not those that actually do it. Trust me, when you see any of those people, you need alcohol to erase the mental picture!
Heck, maybe they will let things go a bit this year. It’s still a fun event and I recommend it if you’re in the area. I just think they should have left well enough alone.