'Castro knows how to party': Halloween festivities return to iconic SF district this weekend

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- After a pandemic-induced break in 2020, Halloween is back in the Castro this weekend.

"Castro knows how to party, and Castro knows how to do Halloween," said Masood Samereie.

Samereie is the President of the Castro Merchants Association.

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He says after a rough 18 months for local businesses, Halloween is a chance to get things back to some sense of normal.

"We need the business, we need the people to come out, but as I said, responsibly and safely," Samereie said.

But that invitation comes with some caveats.

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In years past, the neighborhood has been more cautious around Halloween with those who don't live nearby. Especially in the aftermath of 2006's celebration, which ended with violence and several shootings.

"We have been working with the San Francisco Police Department and other city agencies for anything that comes up with this event," said Samereie.

With precautions in place, the Castro is once again ready to open up to the world, sharing a key part of its rich history and culture.

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"The community counts on certain celebrations like Pride, Halloween is another explosion of our personality and individuality. And it's really a lot of what the Castro is about," said Terry Asten Bennett, the general manager of Cliff's Variety.

And local businesses say, they're ready once again.

"Extremely busy. Maddening busy. You know there's busy and then there's maddening busy. So I think we're going to have a maddening busy time," said restaurant manager, Rocky Misquita.

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