San Francisco's Folsom Street Fair returns with COVID safety protocols for 40K attendees

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Only in San Francisco. The Folsom Street Fair returned this weekend after two year delay. While the one-of-a-kind uniqueness of the event hasn't changed, COVID-19 is prompting new rules and guidelines.

"Our tag line is literally, only in San Francisco, this doesn't happen anywhere else in the world," said Folsom Street Fair Executive Director Angel Adeyoha.

That would be true. Folsom Street, one of the city's largest and weirdest street fairs is back. The infamous adults-only event was canceled in 2020 due to pandemic.

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"I'd describe it as a raunchy, inclusive festival to celebrate kink and leather," said Joy Pfeiffer from Oakland.

It's a bit of a homecoming Pfieffer, she's been to Folsom eight times.

"I missed everyone so much, the community, camaraderie is so nice to have again and to be doing it as safely as possible," she added.

2021 has new rules for those wanting to express their sexual freedom and all things fetish. Proof of vaccination was required for entry along with masks.

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The isolation has been a lot for people, it's good to see people getting back to some kind of normal," said Zenny from Cupertino.

Lots of leather and bare chests here. Sales of the Bare Chest calendar have been raising money for HIV/AIDS charities for 38 years.

"It's great to be back, we pivoted to online but great to be back talking to people," said Calendar coordinator Larry Rich.

Executive Director Angel Adeyoha said there are fewer stages and vendors this year. Pre-COVID, about 250,000 people would be here, this year about 40,000 are expected.

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Another new rule-no alcohol sales, organizers wanted people to support local bars instead.

"This is great because we're still playing catch-up, today is crucial for our fiscal year. This is our Christmas," said Oasis Nightclub owner D'Arcy Drollinger.

It's a holiday for others too, a return to pole dancing or just being seen.

"I do feel like it's the right time to provide this to folks," said Adeyoha.

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