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6 ways to have fun on Easter in San Francisco

three shirtless smiling men in bunny ears, a toga, a prop collar and/or sunglasses pose looking upward outdoors
The winner of Hunky Jesus 2023 was actually a collective called "Haus of Jesus." The moderately blasphemous Easter tradition returns to Dolores Park this Sunday. | Source: Morgan Ellis/The Standard

As they have for decades, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, SF’s homegrown drag troupe of irreverent nuns, will lead a moderately heretical Easter celebration in Dolores Park on Sunday, crowning a “Hunky Jesus” and a “Foxy Mary.”

According to Marcell DeBarros, a fourth-grade teacher who was among 2023’s choreographically inspired winners, Haus of Jesus, victory confers little beyond a brief burst of prestige. They milked it.

“My friends use the certificate to get us free drinks and get us into places for free,” he said, ticking off Castro queer bars like Lookout, The Mix and Beaux. “There was a huge line that evening, and the bouncer and the people in the front were like, ‘Let them in, let them in.’”

Easter is nothing if not a pagan fertility celebration, symbolized by eggs and highly fecund bunny rabbits. So while the kids are filling their baskets with jelly beans and plastic, here are six ways for adults to get into the spirit. 

four women or femme-presenting people, one visibly pregnant, stand on a stage outdoors
At last year's Easter in the Park, at least one Foxy Mary contestant was visibly pregnant. | Source: Morgan Ellis/The Standard

For the gleefully hellbound: Easter in the Park/Hunky Jesus and Foxy Mary

It’s big, sexy and full of innuendo—and if it’s anything like last year, you’re going to want to show up early because every inch of Dolores Park was covered with blankets by about 1 p.m. The Sisters trace their origins to Easter 1979, and it remains their big day, from the storytime hour and Easter Bunny appearance at 10 a.m. to the gaudy bonnet contest and messianic lookalike pageant. 

Hosted once again by Honey Mahogany and Sister Roma, with performances from Kat Robichaud, The Mabuhay Bitches, Sugar Bear and many others, Easter in the Park is going to be the ultimate in joyous outdoor gatherings.

Sunday, children's celebration at 10 a.m. with various contests until 4 p.m., Dolores Park, free with suggested donation.

a female guitarist in profile lit in blue and red stage lights
Carrie Brownstein—you may also know her from "Portlandia"—and the other two members of Sleater-Kinney will play two shots this weekend. | Source: Courtesy Rick Kern/Getty Images

For feminist punks: Riot grrrl legends Sleater-Kinney

Three decades ago, the Olympia, Washington, trio Sleater-Kinney helped launch the riot grrrl movement, eventually winning extraordinary accolades up to and including “best band in the world.” Somewhere along the way, they headlined a concert and anti-gentrification rally in Dolores Park, something that seems inconceivable today in more ways than one.

Now, a decade after reuniting, the uncontested pioneers of feminist punk Carrie Brownstein, Corrin Tucker and Janet Weiss return to San Francisco for two shows in support of Little Rope, their 12th(!) full-length album. 

Saturday, 8:30 p.m. (The Warfield) and Sunday, 8 p.m. (Regency Ballroom), $45-$79.50.

For the spiritual: Sunrise service on Mt. Davidson

Sometimes, you need to get right with the cosmos atop the city’s highest hill. For 101 years, Mt. Davidson has been the site of a non-denominational Easter sunrise service, with pastors from various houses of worship citywide. 

Beginning at 7 a.m. beneath the summit’s enormous cross, the Salvation Army Brass Band and musicians from The House of Bagpipes will set a reflective mood just before dawn breaks over the East Bay hills. After this winter’s rain, the 938-foot hill is filled with wildflowers, too.

Sunday, 7 a.m., Mt. Davidson, free.

For cool adults with cool kids: The Castro's Easter EggStravaganza Block Party

Update: This event has sold out. The Castro, um, really likes holidays, so on Saturday afternoon the section of Noe Street just north of Market will be blocked off for a big, costumed block party. In spite of the name, there is no egg hunt per se, but there will be drag story time, costume contests for kids and dogs alike and a “Kitten Zone.”

Adults, meanwhile, can enter a “Passport Bunny Hop” to win Easter shot glasses and compete for thousands of dollars in prizes. And, because this is the Castro, there will be drag performances all day, as well as DJs.

Saturday, noon-6 p.m., Noe Street between Market and Beaver streets.

the interior of a dark bar
Kilowatt is only about four blocks from Dolores Park, if you want to head over for the Warriors game after Hunky Jesus. | Source: Justin Katigbak for The Standard

For people who want to eat, drink, maybe hunt for one egg and watch basketball: Kilowatt

OK, we said no egg-hunting, but this one passes muster—because it involves bottomless mimosas and DJs. Kilowatt, the Mission District bar and live music venue that’s under relatively new ownership, is cobbling together a boozy potluck and Easter egg hunt, with the Golden State Warriors playing the San Antonio Spurs at 4 p.m.—which happens to be right when Easter in the Park wraps up a few blocks away. You bring a dish to share, they provide utensils and everybody has a good time. It couldn’t be simpler, really.

Sunday, noon-6 p.m., Kilowatt, 3160 16th St., free with suggested potluck dish.

people in makeshift "big wheel" vehicles prepare to bomb down a hill
Bring Your Own Big Wheel is a slightly more adrenaline-pumping Easter tradition than biting into a hollow milk chocolate bunny. | Source: Courtesy Bring Your Own Big Wheel

For adults who are basically kids: Bring Your Own Big Wheel

Admit it, you have always wanted to ride a Big Wheel down the curviest street in San Francisco—which is, of course, not Lombard but Vermont Street between 20th and 22nd streets in Potrero Hill. As retro as a Teddy Ruxpin, but with more spin-outs, Big Wheels have an eternal appeal, and mostly costumed superfans will gather on Easter Sunday to take those tight S curves with their grown-up knees sticking way out—ideally without injury to life, limb or pre-molded plastic. 

Sunday, kids under 13 ride at 2 p.m., anyone over 13 at 3 p.m., Vermont and 20th streets, free with registration, donations suggested.