Bay2Breakers Saga: It's Not Just About Nakedness and Peeing
With Facebook groups and boycott cries growing daily as a result of Bay to Breaker’s ban on alcohol, nudity, wheeled objects and floats, it’s easy to forget there are real issues here. And for Edward Sharpless, founder of the group Citizens for the Preservation of Bay2Breakers (7,798 Facebook group members, and counting), the issue involves the freedom to march his “Disco 2 Breakers” float as he did last year with 500 friends while also having the resources to nicely clean up afterward. We caught up with the 36-year-old Cow Hollow resident, who was so confident in his mission, he wouldn’t even admit alternate plans if the race succumbs to a Halloween-in-the-Castro fate.
What’s your mission?
It’s our aim to collaborate with race sponsors and city officials to create solutions that will preserve the spirit of this great San Francisco tradition. They decided upon very severe restrictions regarding alcohol and nudity and we don’t believe the proper planning has been involved in those decisions.
Does this mean you condone peeing on our streets?
Urinating on the street is not appropriate but that only includes a small number of people involved.
What aspect of B2B are you trying to save?
It’s not just about ‘we want to drink, we want to run around naked and march our floats’, it’s about the traditions of the race, which are hard to describe. Some members wrote in saying, “this race is SF, SF is Bay to Breakers.” There’s nothing quite like Bay to Breakers—it’s unique.
Have any solutions?
SF is viewed as a green city, and we need to incorporate those views in an event like this. A photo last year focused on a dumpster overflowing with water bottles as there were no recycling bins. People peeing and throwing trash in the streets can be stopped with more toilets and trash bins. We have a lot of solutions—these aren’t impossibilities.
And the next step?
We’ve organized a City Hall rally and press conference with supervisor Ross Mirkarimi on Thursday February 19th at 11:30am. There we will basically present our case to the public and hope to engage in meetings on these issues.