Bay Area Life

Life through the viewfinder

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35th Annual Haight-Ashbury Street Fair

Haight Street Fair 2012

Ever feel like a sardine in a can? Well that’s what it felt like to be at the Haight-Ashbury Street Fair. The ever so popular HASF had so many people that you couldn’t help not bumping into someone. The 35th annual street fair ran for several blocks from Stanyan St. to Masonic Ave. The weather that day was just perfect. Just another beautiful sunny summer day in San Francisco.

Walking down Haight Street was like walking through a time warp. There were a lot of people out in bright and colorful clothing, some tie-dyed shirts, and a few smoking that herbal plant. HASF’s crowd for the day was a mix of hipsters, hippies, young adults, with only a few families with children. Lined to the sides of the street were food vendors, art & crafts booths, information booths, and a few side show acts.

Two main stages built on opposite ends of the fair, played music that fit the Haight psychedelic genre. At both stages crowds packed even more tightly towards the fronts of the stages with even crowds lined up on the sidewalk. In the Kids zone, a smaller stage was placed on a side street near the fair’s center that brought families together for entertainment surrounded by face painters, balloon artists, and many more.

Although this street fair was only for one day, it seems like everyone came to party. However, many fair-goers had to hide their booze in bags as this SF street fair was a “dry” event.

At the end of the day, the Haight-Ashbury Street Fair brought in people from all over to come check out where Peace, Love, and Happiness resides. Bringing together whoever and whomever, the HASF did a pretty good job of uniting people for this one day celebration.

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Haight Street Fair 2012 (1)

Two ladies sportin' the products from the Dirty Pigeon, SF Giants colors represent

Haight Street Fair 2012 (2)

Woman carries a well made monkey balloon

Haight Street Fair 2012 (3)

Monkeybutts drummer sets the tone for the kids

Haight Street Fair 2012 (4)

Lady gets a henna tattoo of an owl

Haight Street Fair 2012 (5)

Vendor reaches out to pet dog

Haight Street Fair 2012 (6)

Lovely couple spends the afternoon together

Haight Street Fair 2012 (7)

Friends enjoying a wonderful sunny afternoon

Haight Street Fair 2012 (8)

Jam packed street fair

Haight Street Fair 2012 (9)

Peace

Haight Street Fair 2012 (10)

Singing to a lively crowd on Haight and Stanyan Sts.

Haight Street Fair 2012 (11)

ChalkedTees owner with his artwork

Haight Street Fair 2012 (12)

Hittin' those keys

Haight Street Fair 2012 (13)

Jammin' on the electric guitar

Haight Street Fair 2012 (14)

Rockin' the bass

Haight Street Fair 2012 (15)

Kid runs toward the bubbles or MJPhotography, you should too

Haight Street Fair 2012 (16)

Sidewalk string quartet violinist

Haight Street Fair 2012 (17)

Double the Peace

Haight Street Fair 2012 (18)

Now I understand why Cookie Monster ate the way he did

Haight Street Fair 2012 (19)

"Oh Kermie"

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Haight Ashbury Street Fair 2010

Haight Ashbury Street Fair 2010 (click here for images)

The Haight Ashbury Street Fair is a San Francisco fair that promotes love, not war. It is one that brings back nostalgic memories for those that grew up during the 60s and 70s when Flower Power and spiritual freedom reigned supreme. Although, the fair promotes this much differently than how they did almost half a century ago, there are still a few people present at the festival that are there to talk and educate you about how the way things were and some there that are unable to change and are living according to the way of life back in the day. Some of their ideologies are still promoted, but protesting is done in a more calmer way with signing of petitions.

The fair is held for one day and extends from Stanyan Street to Masonic Blvd. Two main stages are on opposite ends of the fair. The main type of music that is performed at this fair is mostly rock; however, there are a few exceptions to this. Almost in the middle of the fair is a smaller stage where other bands and groups play in the kid’s zone. In addition to these official stages, there are a few other musicians throughout the fair that perform in random corners or public spaces. Some of the musicians that freelance on the streets played Jazz, Rock, and Peruvian music.

Similar to the Union Street Festival, the Haight Ashbury Street Fair has similar types of food. Most vendors from the previous weeks festival were also there for this festival and pretty much show up to other various festivals throughout the San Francisco festival circuit.

In contrast to the Union Street Festival, the Haight Ashbury Street Fair (HASF) brings about a different vibe and culture. The fair of Love, Joy, and Peace is one that seems to promote a bit more liberalism out of all festivals throughout San Francisco. For example the air is filled with abundant smells of marijuana, the homeless population populate the streets, a few people with petitions to sign are scattered throughout, the sale of “special” treats and glass pipes are available, and various types of fortune reading and spiritual freedom representatives are present as well.

If Rock music, tie-dyed shirts, spiritual freedom, and a festival that you just want a sense of relaxation and letting loose, then the HASF is the place to be. To some, the fair can be seen as extreme, but it is part of American culture and for those that want to see just a little taste of what things were like back in the mid to late 20th century then coming to the HASF will help enlighten some people.

Pictures of the HASF can be seen by clicking on the picture link above. If this post was informative and helpful, please feel free to leave me a comment or donation below. Thank you.

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32nd Haight Ashbury Street Fair

Haight Ashbury Street Fair 2009

The Haight Ashbury Street Fair (HASF) is a very colorful fair with lots of different colors and things going on. What makes this fair interesting is that all different types of people attend it. Much more different than the Union Street Festival and the others that will occur in the summer, the HASF brings out the most interesting people. Hippies, punkers, skaters, and bums are all out and about. Some are here looking for free entertainment and some are here to just bring back memories of what life was like in the Haight in the 60s and 70s.

This year at the fair I saw a couple of interesting things. One was a woman creating works of art with henna tattoos. This was the very first time seeing this type of art up close and personal. I never understood what it was at first. My first impressions were that it was a tattoo that was etched into your skin using fine point metal picks, but I was wrong its harmless. A woman just used ink from a bottle and squeezed it on to her customer’s skin. While researching more of about henna, I found out that “Black Henna” has para-phenylenediamine (PPD) in it and that could possibly give stain and scar skin and could possibly lead to health risks.

Another thing I saw at the fair that was rather interesting was a vendor that created short
saxophones. The short saxophones looked like a clarinet but had the upper reed portion of a sax. When I heard him play it, the sound was just amazing. I couldn’t believe my ears. Although, I don’t think this will ever become part of an orchestra, I think that this unique instrument would be good to accompany any musician while on the road travelling. Though it would not look and feel the same, the short sax is highly portable.

The fair was held on Haight St. a few blocks south of Oak St. and ran along several blocks from Stanyan St. to Masonic Ave. Two grandstands were located on each of the ends of the fair. Food vendors were at every single block and there were many many artists that came to show off and sell their pretty creative works. The weather was great at the fair, only in San Francisco could you have foggy weekdays, but clear and sunny skies on the weekends.

Overall, this fair was pretty fun. There were so many friendly vendors and just seeing all the psychedelic tie dyed shirts and crazy colored memorabilia just takes you to another world. What also I love about this fair is that you can spend the whole day in this area. In the morning you can stroll around in Golden Gate Park, the afternoon spend the time at the fair, and in the evening grab a bite at a local restaurant. Another great thing about this fair too is that it’s on flat ground; no hills which is great for everyone.

Pictures of the Haight Ashbury Street Fair can be seen by clicking on the picture link above. If this post was informative and helpful, please feel free to leave me a comment or donation below. Thank you.