Castro welcomes the holidays

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday November 29, 2023
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Photo: John Ferrannini
Photo: John Ferrannini

Castro Merchants Association President Terry Asten Bennett, a straight ally who co-owns Cliff's Variety, welcomed a crowd to the neighborhood November 27 for the annual holiday tree lighting. "First Lady of the Castro" drag queen Donna Sachet emceed the event. Sachet and other speakers — including Mayor London Breed, and gay political leaders San Francisco District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman and state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) — used the opportunity to urge people to do their holiday shopping in the Castro, as well as their holiday dining and drinking. The San Francisco Bay Area metro area has seen a sluggish recovery from COVID-era economic woes, but Wiener said during the event, "I think we're finally starting to turn the corner." After a performance of "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" by the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band — the story of which has a famous queer subtext — Santa Claus arrived and the tree was lit. The holiday commemorations are only just beginning — a Hanukkah menorah lighting will be held at Jane Warner Plaza Monday, December 11, at 6 p.m., Asten Bennett told the Bay Area Reporter.

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