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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bay to Breakers Announces Alcohol Ban

Posted By on Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 7:45 AM

click to enlarge No announced ban on nudity...
  • No announced ban on nudity...
"There is nothing that says you have to be shitfaced drunk to have a good time," race spokesman tells SF Weekly.

Bay to Breakers spokesman Sam Singer moments ago fired off a sobering press release: Next year's race, the 100th, will take place on May 15th -- and no alcohol of any kind will be tolerated.

"The illegal and dangerous abuse of alcohol must stop

if the race is to continue as a fun and safe event that can be enjoyed by

everyone--runners, walkers, families, children, neighbors and the City as

a whole," the release quoted race general manager Angela Fang as saying.

Also gone: floats, "Which have to an unacceptable extent

become alcohol delivery vehicles and magnets for unacceptable behavior."

Feeling nostalgic already... - JOSEPH SCHELL
  • Joseph Schell
  • Feeling nostalgic already...
But, to paraphrase President Andrew Jackson, Angela Fang has made her decision. Now let her enforce it.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, for one, told the Chronicle he had no idea how this dictum could be carried out against an open-air bacchanal attended by scores of thousands of entitled, inebriated "runners." Incidentally, "limiting the number of registrations for the 100th anniversary" is another dictum from race organizers, as is allowing only said registrants on the course and removing "non-registered 'bandits.'"

Good luck with that.

Incidentally, race organizers attempted to go dry two years ago, too. Mirkarimi brokered a compromise -- for which, naturally, Mayor Gavin Newsom claimed credit.

Update, 8:30 a.m.: Sam Singer returned our call. He said the quest for a booze-free B2B was in no way a Sisyphean task. Several months prior to the race, organizers will put out "an education program -- "a lot of time, money, outreach, and PR will go into making sure people know not to show up with alcohol because it will be taken away."

It will be taken away not by security guards but by San Francisco police officers, hired for the day by B2B. Singer was unsure how many more cops will be hired to handle the absolute bans on booze and floats.  

But even if it's unrealistic to expect a completely dry Bay to Breakers, Singer hopes this less permissive atmosphere puts a huge dent in overt drunkenness, especially from underage drinkers worried about having their driver's licenses seized.

"There is nothing that says you have to be shitfaced drunk to have a good time," says Singer. "That is what we want."

Finally, Singer claims "about half a dozen" potential sponsors have show interest in lending their name to the race -- even a dry race in which hired cops forcibly remove PBR from costumed event-crashers.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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