'Stay away': San Francisco officials discourage partying in the Castro for Halloween

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In San Francisco, the Castro is known as the place to be on Halloween. But this year the message is different.

"Stay away! If you are coming to the Castro to have a meal or do a little shopping during the day that's okay. But if you see a crowd please don't stick around," said San Francisco Supervisor, Rafael Mandelman.

RELATED: Trick-or-treating not advised amid COVID-19, officials say

This year the hope is that it will be small gatherings and no parties like in years past. Here's the map of several businesses that will safely give out candy to kids and those who dress up.



One of those businesses is ready with 100 goodie bags.

"Obviously Halloween on a Saturday with the time change the next say was supposed to be the biggest Halloween ever. But, I would rather forgo the biggest Halloween ever than forgo the rest of the Halloweens completely," said Terry Asten Bennett, Co-owner of Cliff's Variety.

In the Castro, at least 20 businesses closed because of COVID-19. So asking people to not come is not the easiest announcement, but a necessary one. Supervisor Mandelamn says the goal San Francisco remains in the yellow tier.

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"We are hoping people would hear the message and understand that gathering in large groups in not a good idea," said Mandelman.

The President of the Castro Marchants is hoping people shop and dine at the Castro Nov. 1, but again, in small groups.

"We closed the streets down on Sunday from 11-7 p.m. and let the bars and restaurants and retails extend into the street and we invite people to come, we want more foot traffic to the neighborhood as long as it's safe," said Masood Samereie, President of Castro Merchants
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