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Monday, May 19, 2014

Bay to Breakers: Kiddies' Lemonade Stands Shut Down

Posted By on Mon, May 19, 2014 at 9:30 AM

This 2010 Dolores Park scene was purportedly revisited yesterday during Bay to Breakers - ROBERT BRUST
  • Robert Brust
  • This 2010 Dolores Park scene was purportedly revisited yesterday during Bay to Breakers

Leaping, naked, into the Golden Gate Park bison paddock will, on most days, get you arrested. That was certainly the case during yesterday's Bay to Breakers. Official police tallies also include 24 public intoxication arrests and three public urination citations (these three folks must have done something remarkable to stand out among a 50,000-strong army of public urinators).

Not showing up on police stat-sheets disseminated to the media, however: Two adolescents' lemonade stands busted up at Fell and Cole. The 11-year-old proprietor of one of those stands, SF Weekly is told, was informed that simply giving away the fudge brownies and lemonade the police forbade her from continuing to sell would result in a $1,500 fine. Preteens selling goodies, the police reportedly lectured the lemonade stand proprietor, was unfair to establishments that bothered to get a license for their activities -- like Starbucks.

Our calls to the police have not yet been returned. This is not, however, the San Francisco Police Department's first strike against unlicensed, juvenile capitalism.

Four years ago, news of cops shutting down kiddies' Dolores Park lemonade stand itself became Internet lemonade.

The SFPD's then-spokesman, Sergeant Troy Dangerfield, cited chapter and verse to us at the time, explaining the ins and outs of foodsellers' permitting. "How can you tell ice cream carts to leave and then let some people sell other things?" he asked, rhetorically. "Just because they're kids doesn't mean they should get a free pass, you know?"

Not long after police cleansed the Cole and Fell area of unlawful lemonade dispensaries, SF Weekly is told they returned due to complaints about "a live band." This stemmed, it turns out, from a neighborhood tradition of setting up a drum kit during Bay to Breakers, and allowing local kids to keep the beat.

At the time the police showed up, the unlicensed live bandmember was, purportedly, a toddler. 

Update, 2:25 p.m.: Police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza says there's no record in the logs of cops shutting down lemonade stands. But "we had lots and lots and lots of police out there, so, yes, it could have happened." 

With regards to why it happened, he notes "this is a letter of the law/spirit of the law type of thing. Is it a violation? Technically yes. Are we going to cite a kid's lemonade stand? Probably not. I hope not." 

But, he continues, if you ask the hot dog vendors and other sellers to move along, you have to do it to everyone. Otherwise "that would be selective enforcement. And that's no bueno." 

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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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