SF SAFE's Halloween Candy Explosion a Sweet Success

Approximately 1,500 San Francisco kids and their families gathered throughout the day with SF SAFE, the SFPD and other community members for our organization’s annual Halloween Candy Explosion Sat., Oct. 29. The celebration marked the second incarnation of the popular annual event.

The seasonal celebration at Gilman Park in San Francisco was a sweet success, with revelers of all ages coming out to enjoy a wide assortment of delights, including delicious food, carnival games, jumpers, pumpkin patch, vendors, costume contest, music, face painting and candy galore.

Among the popular attractions that day were a Kids Bar serving up hocus pocus and blood orange mock cocktails with creepy crawler garnishes, as well as Halloween-themed boba tea and also Jamba Juice while supplies lasted. Dixon Delights catered a BBQ lunch.

Eye-popping Halloween spectacles such as a gigantic skeleton surrounded by gravestones and a clown—so massive they had to be delivered by a tractor trailer truck—towered over the crowd to add just the right amount of seasonal scary to the occasion. Orange and black balloons dotting the park, as well as balloon archways and pumpkin, ghost and blue hound photo booth ops also added to Halloween frivolity.

But the event’s real crowd pleaser was the Halloween Candy Explosion section—a reimagined version of musical chairs done by age group, where kids had until the end of each song to fill up their bags with candy. The fun was repeated until all the candy was gone, much to the delight of the costumed kids.

Among the event participants that day were SFPD Chief William Scott and Assistant Chief David Lazar, who joined their department officers—many of which handed out stickers to the kids throughout the event.

SF SAFE’s Halloween Candy Explosion was such as resounding success, SF SAFE has set the date for next year’s event: Sat., Oct., 28, 2023 at the same location at Gilman Park in San Francisco. In a turn of serendipity, Oct. 28 also happens to National Chocolate Day.

According to SF SAFE Executive Director Kyra Worthy, the Halloween Candy Explosion is not only about providing a safe environment where people of all ages can enjoy the holiday and our youth can “just be kids,” but also is about bringing the community together to strengthen our connections with each other and law enforcement.

“By getting to know each other, we are better poised to tackle our city’s safety issues in a collaborative and meaningful way,” said Worthy.

SF SAFE’s Eric Higuera contributed to this report.