Preparing for scary - Page 2

Event planners say city officials needn't fear Halloween in the Castro

Jones) had been urging during her campaign against Dufty for his seat on the Board of Supervisors.
"Bevan Dufty has accused me of playing politics with Halloween, but he should have started working on this plan at least six months ago," Rosenthal said at a day-after press conference. She believes that more entry points, entrance fees (with higher fees for uncostumed attendees), and a parade leading away from the Castro would be helpful. "Getting out the word that there are going to be changes has to be a huge PR effort."
Paul Wertheimer of LA-based Crowd Management Strategies told the Guardian that talk of canceling the event is "an understandable reaction if you know you can't do it right."
"Organizers often fail to recognize the changing demographics and popularity of events," Wertheimer said, pointing to the success of New Orleans in managing its Mardi Gras parades despite narrow streets and huge crowds. "You can't have a hippie, anything-goes mentality. Once an event gets bigger than 3,000 to 5,000 people, it has to be organized and planned with the proper resources, but it can be done, because the techniques and plans are already laid out."
Wertheimer hopes the SF Halloween task force will assess what worked and what didn't, take a break, then begin planning no later than six months out. "And merchants' issues have to be addressed. Merchants are always concerned, but if they can be shown ways they can benefit and be protected from vandalism, they'll be for it."
Or as Strawser put it, "We need to put the dollars into better management, not police overtime. Former mayor Willie Brown learned that lesson in 1997 when he tried to cancel Critical Mass. We're a city that handles the Love Parade, Gay Pride, and Bay to Breakers. To cancel what began as a gay event because of fear of gay bashers and violence would be to give in to the terrorists." SFBG