Easter in San Francisco means one thing if you live in or near the Castro-heading to Dolores Park for a fun day filled with great crowds, pals, entertainment, and activities for the kids-all orchestrated by San Francisco treasures, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
This year marked the 34th anniversary of the annual celebration. Since 1979 The Sisters have managed to poke fun at the ‘He Has Risen Holiday’, entertain the community and provide an alternative family friendly event open to all.
They had big plans for 2013. The theme: ‘Under the Big Top’. Easter meets circus meets Nuns in Drag. Entertainment, circus folk, bands, stage show, drag royalty and of course the trifecta crowd pleaser: Kids Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Bonnet Contest and anointing this years Hunky Jesus with the Crown of Thorns.
The day kicked off under threatening skies with the traditional mad dash Easter Egg Hunt designed for all the local children. It was packed and opened with an invocation by one of the senior Sisters and the Easter Bunny. The kids gathered like small, rabid, maniacs eager to collect eggs that translated into kids ransom-aka-toys, candy, treats.
In no time the crowds started to amass in earnest, and sadly, so did the storm clouds. By 1PM most participants and Easter celebrants arrived so had the sprinkles. By the time the organizers had sorted out the Easter Bonnet contestants and gotten them up on stage the skies parted and the Red Sea seemed to come dumping down.
A mad dash for cover and the crowd mostly scattered while the Sisters scrambled to unhook electricity and get the stage tarped and protected. San Franciscans being the resilient buggers they are hung about and waited for the deluge to dissipate. It did, but, by then the enclave of Sisters had decided to pull the plug on the rest of the day’s event for safety reasons choosing to reschedule the crowning of Hunky Jesus until later in April.
The damp but upbeat crowd however was by no means ready to go and a couple hundred hung about continuing to celebrate the undead who’d risen, all things that come in a basket, colored eggs, and the joy of being a San Franciscan. People really put in the effort to dress for this years event and many Sisters also stayed wandering about being great emissaries for the Order and occasionally blessing those in need of a little magic.
All in all it was a great time and the Sisters should be proud of being able to turn a thunder-storm into a successful party. Keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming Hunky Jesus Part II sometime in April.
Take a look through our gallery and see if you can spot any of your pals. The pictures are up on our Facebook page as well. Feel free to drop by and tag yourself and your friends.
Photos: © 2013 Waiyde Palmer unless otherwise indicated.