Top 10 Costumes from Bay to Breakers

Flickr photo from Kevin Krejci

Sometimes I love San Francisco, even when the forecast is foggy rain in the middle of May. The annual Bay to Breakers is one of those quintessential San Francisco events that I love.
Getting to the starting line, I watched as a group of Japanese tourists looked on with slightly puzzled looks, cautiously smiling as they took a picture of a woman dressed as a bride with thigh-high garters, accompanied by two friends in tacky bridesmaid dresses. A couple of businessmen emerged from the nearby convention center looking bewildered.

This year, San Francisco officials proclaimed that they’d be cracking down on the Bay to Breakers shenanigans. There’d be none of this beer drinking and nakedness and floats were officially banned from the race. As a result, there were no floats to speak of, but there were record numbers of participants dressed as law enforcement officials, particularly SFPD. Walking over to meet up with my friends, I stepped over twelve packs of beer and dodged half a dozen naked people running (never the people you ever want to see unclothed) through a cloud of marijuana smoke to our meeting place.  Ah, the spirit of Bay to Breakers will go on, crackdown be damned!

Top 10 Costumes from 2011 Bay to Breakers

Photo from Melissa Chang

10. Robots
These ladies were just two of the handfuls of elaborate robot costumes I spotted. Expertly crafted…and how can you not like robots?

9. Osama Bin Laden
I was surprised that I actually only saw one such costume as I thought it might be a popular one this year. It also surprised me that there was no Obama costume or perhaps an Obama/Osama hybrid, with one person sporting the beard and robes, the other waving a birth certificate

8. Jellyfish
I loved the family of jellyfish. Mom, dad, and kids all had a what looked like a pastel-colored, balloon-like jelly fish top attached to their head with little streamers running down. So simple, yet clever and original.

7. Frank Chu
No, honestly, it wasn’t the real Frank Chu, only a guy that looked stunningly like him, complete with the sign. My friend first thought it was actually Frank himself until he got a closer look.

6. Zone of Zero Tolerance
Well it certainly was not an illegal float, but rather a running tent touting the law enforcement decry. The SF Zone of Zero Tolerance Tent zipped along with several costumed law enforcement officials pounding drinks underneath.

5.  Celebrities!
It was a tie between a lady Elvis, a stunningly accurate Prince, circa “Purple Rain”, and a crazed looking young man with an, “I’m on a drug called Charlie Sheen. Winning!” sign.

Image from Sylvain Kalachie's photostream

4. Bacon
It takes many running bacon bits to make a striplet. Even vegans have to smile.

3. Traveling Port-a-Pottie
Complete with a sign that read, “Come in if you want to get shit-faced.”

2. Running Grandmas
Armed with walkers, hairnets, and bifocals, grannies with names like “Gertrude” and “Bernice” bustled along.

1. Hey, what a great costume! Oh wait…
After the race you’d still see many race-goers around. However, it was sometimes hard to determine if the person in question was wearing a great costume for Bay to Breakers or was actually just a regular denizen of San Francisco.

More pictures here!


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