A sunny weather forecast promises an ideal Mother’s Day for the thousands of San Franciscans planning to enjoy Sunday Streets in the Mission District. An extended route this year will be filled with live music and activities, and some of the biggest crowds yet are expected to fill Valencia and 24th Streets, one of the event’s most popular locations.
“This route is packed from end to end,” said Sunday Streets coordinator Susan King. “We actually ran out of programming room to accommodate all the people who wanted to come out and perform and play, which is a great problem to have.”
Families will have the chance to celebrate Mother’s Day dancing, riding bikes, skating, doing Yoga, painting, and watching performances on streets filled with live music at “nearly every other storefront,” said King.
Around 20,000 people are expected to relax and play along 15 car-free blocks of Valencia Street from 24th Street all the way to Duboce, a welcome extension this year to some of the corridor’s liveliest blocks.
The event’s popularity with residents and businesses continues to grow, and this year will have more programming tuned to the neighborhood’s character. Performances from BRAVA Theatre on York Street as well as the Mission Cultural Center’s dance and music performances at the 24th Street BART Plazas will provide a local vibe. Hip-hop dance performances and lessons, cultural performances with Mission Girls and Head Start, cartooning and creative arts at 826 Valencia, and many other activities will also bring the community out to the streets.
Artist Television Access will also host a live KUSF broadcast and screen segments from the Streetfilms series Moving Beyond the Automobile.
“The Mission District, like Chinatown and North Beach, is a very populated part of the city without a lot of open space for people to bike, exercise, play and socialize – this is why Sunday Streets is so important to these communities,” Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement.
For now, we can only hope the city’s growing hunger for car-free streets is quelled by this weekend’s nearly two-mile stretch.
“We’re hoping to eventually push out and have the entire Valencia corridor from Market to Cesar Chavez,” said King. “Clearly, that’s very challenging, because Duboce Street is a major cross street, and we just didn’t have manpower or the budget this year to make it happen.”