The smell of perfectly roasted meat wafted through the crowd of peaceful and happy fairgoers at the 31st annual Haight Ashbury Street Fair Sunday afternoon. The weather was perfect for snacking on sweet corn, listening to music and people-watching, which, on Haight Street, is always entertaining.
Pot cookies abounded and I even saw a new kind of pipe called the "Monkey Pipe," that is not only made of metal undetectable by detectors but also folds up to fit perfectly in one's pocket. Clowns blew bubbles while dancing to techno and many hippies were sporting traditional tie-dye, as were a few lucky pooches. There were custom painted Grateful Dead shoes to buy, free tea parties to participate in and of course, lots of dancing.
But probably the most fun was had on Children's Alley, where there were huge snakes and exotic reptiles to be handled and hugged, the hokey-pokey to be danced, faces to be painted and puppets to be watched.
Although three decades have passed since the original fair was held in this vibrant and outspoken community, the original message of peace, love and happiness was still felt floating over the crowd at Sunday's festival. --Ariel Soto