Starting today, the NOW! Festival returns to several neighborhoods surrounding the Panhandle with the hopes of inspiring residents to build a better, more dynamic community. Events will continue through Tuesday, November 3rd.
"The idea is really about trying to inspire people to be involved in their community and to take this special opportunity to put aside their regular schedule to contribute," said festival organizer Morgan Fitzgibbons. "Ultimately, it's for people to realize that it's not that hard and that it's rewarding.
Held twice a year since the spring of 2014, the NOW! Festival is a collection of different community events hosted by local residents and establishments such as The Center SF and the Park Branch Public Library.
Here are some highlights from the week to come:
Wednesday, Oct. 28th
- Bike Religion, corner of Baker and Fell, 7am
- Panhandle Permaculture Vision Walk, Panhandle (McKinley Statue), 5:30pm
- Wu Tang Wednesday, The Center SF (548 Fillmore), 7pm
Thursday, Oct. 29th
- Bike The Vote! Panhandle (McKinley Statue), 5:00pm
- Ignite The Mic, The Center SF (548 Fillmore), 7:30pm
Friday, Oct. 30th
- Free Flower Friday, Panhandle (McKinley Statue), 1:30pm
- Homeless Youth Alliance Game Group, Park Branch Public Library (1833 Page), 2:30pm
Saturday, Oct. 31st
- Free Farm Stand Parklet, Haight between Ashbury and Clayton, 1pm
- Halloween Costume Yoga, Panhandle (just east of Masonic), 9:30am
Sunday, Nov. 1st
- The Great Halloween Weekend Scavenger Hunt, Panhandle (McKinley Statue), 2pm
- Kubb Tournament, Panhandle (near Clayton), 11:30am
Monday, Nov. 2nd
- Rain Dance Silent Disco, Panhandle (McKinley Statue), 6pm
- Motown Monday, Madrone (500 Divisadero), 7pm (Free before 9pm)
Tuesday, Nov. 3rd
- Free Day at Conservatory of Flowers, 100 John F Kennedy Drive, 10am
- Amy Weiss' Election and NOW! Finale Event Amy Weiss' Election and NOW! Finale Event, St. Cyprians (2097 Turk)
"The NOW! Festival is a coordinated push to move our community towards what it needs to be," said Fitzgibbons. However, this year is somewhat of a bittersweet event for the organizer, since he plans to leave San Francisco for his native Toledo, Ohio at year's end.
Fitzgibbons cites the city's increased cost of living as the key reason for his departure. "I'm going where the economic climate suits my clothes. I'm going to a place where I think my work will have the best chance for my work to survive, and I don't think this is the best climate anymore, despite its rich history," he told us.
"I hope the NOW! Festival will continue on," he continued. "Of all the the things I've been a part of, I think the NOW! Festival has the best chance of continuing on because of the team behind it. We are still planning one for the spring."
If you are interested in participating in the festival, you can check out the full schedule of events here. See you in the Panhandle!
[A previous photo published with this story was by Ed Ritger/SF Public Press.]