By Lupita Franco Peimbert
(San Francisco) – Before the pandemic, Valencia Street was bursting with people, restaurants and local shops; it was one of the “must-go-to” destinations in San Francisco. Like it happened with many amazing areas in the City throughout the pandemic, vendors and locals saw it go silence and quiet, for what it seemed like a very long while. Now that vaccination is high and reopening is unquestionable, 500 community members and over 35 merchants raised funds to see Valencia Street return to its fun and festive ambience.
The lights are up!, figuratively and literally. Valencia Street has been adorned with LED lighting street lamps spanning from 14th St. through 24th St. just to say something like Here we are! and We are happy to be here!, ready to continue moving forward.
A light up ceremony will take place Friday, May 7th, 8PM – 9PM
“Lighting up Valencia will bring a sense of community and warmth we all need as we re-emerge as a City and come back swinging. It’s a project built by the community and we should all be so proud of that fact. We did this together.” said Jonah Buffa, co-owner of Fellow Barber and President of the Valencia Corridor Merchants Association.
“It is our hope and intention that they serve as a beautiful little beacon to bring back our precious customers and neighbors,” said Manny Yekutiel, owner of Mannys and Valencia Corridor Merchants Association Board Member.
The Valencia Street Corridor will continue with its car-free program during weekends where pedestrians and cyclists can enjoy the areas closed to traffic. Cars are not allowed in the following blocks of Valencia: 16th to 17th; 18th to 19th; 20th to 21st on Fridays, from 5pm to 9pm, and on Saturdays 12pm – 9pm through June 27. Vehicular traffic on the cross streets is not be impacted.
The ceremony will begin at 557 Valencia street, between 16th-17th streets on the closed portion of the street. The program will include a live Mariachi band (Mariachi Puro Jalisco), a community blessing led by Sister Roma and the Sister of Perpetual Indulgence, and remarks by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman and small business leaders.
Light refreshments will be provided. You Are Invited!