SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's that time of year again, Halloween is back in the Castro.
"We all know, gay people love to dress up," said Dave Karraker, co-president of the Castro Merchants Association.
But for the first time, 2022's celebration will be a little different than in years past.
On the Sunday before Halloween, the association is hosting a family-friendly daytime Halloween event to complement the neighborhood's normal festivities.
It'll include everything from costume parties and trick-or-treating, to photo opportunities for kids.
"You can't have Halloween without the Castro," Karraker said.
Karraker says it's important for the neighborhood to put on a fun and safe event for everyone - especially given past incidents in the area.
In previous years the Castro has been filled with hundreds of thousands of people which has caused problems, including several instances of stabbings, shootings, and violence.
"I think anytime an event outgrows the venue it's been originally designed for you're going to run into problems," Karraker said.
But beyond the fun, the new event will also be a way to support local businesses.
The Castro was one of San Francisco's hardest-hit areas during the pandemic.
"It's really nice to have something outside the bar that brings people together from the neighborhood who maybe don't want to spend the night in a bar and want to celebrate a different way," said Chris Hastings of Lookout bar.
So as people return to the Castro for some of their favorite old holiday activities, Karraker says he's hoping this year's event will also become a new tradition.
"Everybody loves to come to the Castro to people watch and we think it's going to be a great event," Karraker said.
If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live