When it comes to extravaganzas, no one does it better than San Francisco, especially when celebrating the amazing World Series success of our San Francisco Giants! And last Wednesday’s massive downtown victory parade took on an even more special allure, being that it was being held Halloween. A Giants victory parade and Halloween made for strange bedfellows, and as you can see, a lot of people really got creative in combining the two events.
An estimated million people crammed the parade route along Market Street up to the Civic Center for even more Giants festivities in front of City Hall. That’s a lot of people to pack into a relatively small city, but the good news is that on this day at least, San Francisco was indeed the happiest place on earth. Everyone was smiling, everyone was joyful, everyone was radiating happiness. It reminded me of a line from the Grateful Dead tune Scarlet Begonias: ‘Strangers stopping strangers, just to shake their hands.’ The sense of sheer joy and gratitude that this city felt for our Giants was amazing, and you couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear at the sight of so many happy, crazy people. Toss in some really hilarious and clever Halloween costumes, and a lot of confetti, and the day’s keyword was FUN!
To get downtown I took the subway, reminding me of yet another song lyric, this time from the The Police and Synchronicity 2: ‘Packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes …’ But the short ride was boisterous and fun, and it was really cool to see so many parents with their kids, all decked in Giants orange and black, enjoying this major event as a family. Finally, downtown, and as I rode the escalator from the Montgomery Street subway station up to Market Street the sense of excitement was gigantic … I couldn’t wait to hit the streets and join the action. I started snapping even as I rode the escalator up and I didn’t stop for four hours, capturing everything I could. As a good friend of mine said, these events are so rare, and you gotta appreciate every second, because it might not ever happen again (and he should know, because he lives in Philadelphia!). In that way, then, a Giant’s World Series Victory parade is like a metaphor for life, but that’s a deeper discussion for another time.
And I did try to capture every second, because who knows when it will happen again. I hope this photo essay gives you an idea of the grand scale of the event, the enormous throngs of people and the spectacle of pageantry! It was indeed a day that will go down in San Francisco history. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the 2012 San Francisco Giants World Series Victory parade!