While San Franciscans continue to shelter in place due to COVID-19, physically distanced outdoor events such as front porch performances and pickup truck concerts have emerged as ways for neighbors to continue seeing each other safely.
Now, the North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association (NOPNA) has a new one planned for Saturday, July 18: a collaborative event to create what they hope will be the world's longest hopscotch route.
Dubbed "Hopscotch Your Block," NOPNA invites the local community out to help draw one continuous four mile long hopscotch course in a single day. (The current Guinness World Record for the longest hopscotch game is right around that length.)
Starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, area residents can pick up a bag of chalk at one of four intersections: Turk and Broderick, Golden Gate and Central, Grove and Baker, and Masonic and Fell. The bags will also contain a voucher, valid until Monday, that can be spent at area businesses.
Participating merchants include Barrel Head Brewhouse, Black Nose, Central Coffee Tea & Spice, Home Service Market, Jannah, Matching Half, McBaker Market, NOPA Corner Market, and Oasis Cafe.
NOPNA board member Meg Rahner says she got the idea back in May after seeing so many hopscotch courses and other chalk drawings on the sidewalks in her neighborhood. With four different pickup points, the idea is to have locals focus on drawing sections of a larger course on their own blocks.
If enough neighbors sketch out sections of the course, a few of the NOPNA board members will carefully connect the entire route at key intersections.
After using 20 pieces of chalk to sketch one block of hopscotch course along McAllister Street, Rahner estimated that she'd need 1,500 pieces of colorful, bulky sidewalk chalk to draw four miles worth of squares.
"We actually have extra to hand out — 1,800 pieces total," she told Hoodline. "Just in case people get really into it."
And of course, safety isn't just for Saturday. As they prepared for the event this week, NOPNA members wore gloves when bagging up the chalk. On Saturday, participants are encouraged to follow current SF Department of Public Health guidelines on distancing and mask-wearing.
More event details can be found on NOPNA's website.