San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department today hosted Golden Gate Park’s 150th Anniversary kick-off event. They announced that concerts, special exhibits at museums and gardens, and a parkwide Community Day on April 4th, 2020 are among the attractions planned for the yearlong celebration of Golden Gate Park’s sesquicentennial.
Mayor Breed joined San Franciscans representing more than 150 community groups, cultural institutions and partners, and announced 150 park improvement projects planned for 2020. Volunteers then started on one—planting 150 trees donated by musical legend Paul Simon throughout Golden Gate Park.
With a focus on free events and activities, the Golden Gate Park sesquicentennial will celebrate the open, democratic nature of parks. The yearlong celebration is organized by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Parks Alliance.
“Golden Gate Park belongs to the people of San Francisco, and we get to celebrate it all year long,” said Mayor Breed. “Throughout San Francisco’s history, the park has served as a shelter for earthquake refugees, the site of historic anti-war rallies and rock concerts, and a modern hub for recreation. It links us to our past through its museums and gardens, public art and cultural activities, and remains a vital space where people of all ages and backgrounds connect with nature and with one another.”
“We are extremely excited to showcase Golden Gate Park as part of Community Day on April 4, which will be a special moment in the park’s cherished history,” said Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. “This celebration isn’t just about one day—it’s about everything that happens in Golden Gate Park throughout the year, from big events to the picnics, marriage proposals, morning strolls and birthday parties that happen every day.”
Community Day, a celebration throughout the park’s 1,017 acres, will be held on April 4, exactly 150 years after the California Legislature created Golden Gate Park. The day will feature more than 150 free events and activities, including:
- The opening of an illuminated 150-foot observation wheel;
- Community arts and musical groups performing in the Music Concourse;
- A kids’ carnival in the Polo Fields with rides, bounce houses and educational activities;
- Free programs and activities at the park’s iconic museums, gardens and recreation clubs;
- A display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt; and
- A huge picnic in Hellman Hollow with entertainment, food and more.
Golden Gate Park 150 organizers announced several partnerships, programs and activities aimed at bolstering visitors to the park and telling its amazing stories throughout the year, including:
- Free shuttle services from recreation centers throughout the city so every neighborhood can enjoy Golden Gate Park;
- Bringing music back to the Music Concourse with community arts and musical groups performing in the bandshell twice a month;
- Opening a pop-up Visitor Center;
- Kaiser Permanente Yoga in the Park;
- Free movie nights; and
- Special Golden Gate Park exhibitions at the San Francisco Library and its neighborhood branches, San Francisco International Airport, Botanical Garden, and the Pioneers Museum in the Presidio, among others.
Specific details and additional partner announcements will be unveiled in the coming months.
Mayor Breed is chairing the Golden Gate Park 150 Honorary Committee, with the Honorable Willie L. Brown Jr., Charlotte Mailliard Shultz, Nancy Hellman Bechtle, Mark Buell and Rodney Fong serving as co-chairs. More than 150 community groups, cultural organizations and partners are supporting the celebration and include the Conservatory of Flowers, de Young Museum, Japanese Tea Garden, National AIDS Memorial, San Francisco Public Library, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco Botanical Garden, San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco Travel, and SPUR. Presenting sponsors include Kaiser Permanente, Target, Another Planet Entertainment, and Paul Simon.
Paul Simon, who performed at Outside Lands last year, donated the trees planted in Golden Gate Park as part of today’s kick-off event. “It was an honor to play at Golden Gate Park and a pleasure to see the money collected that day being used for the planting of trees in the John McLaren Memorial Rhododendron Dell and Garden of Humanitarians,” he said. “My thanks to the residents of San Francisco who donated the cost of their tickets to this joyful endeavor.”
Visit goldengatepark150.com for a guide to the special events, programming, exhibitions, history, amazing stories and things to do in the park. Specific information about the April 4th Community Day can also be found on the website. Media materials can be viewed at GGP150presskit.com.
“Golden Gate Park is a treasured icon of San Francisco, serving our community as a place of celebration, recreation and reflection for 150 years,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Whether enjoying one of its many museums and cultural institutions, experiencing the wonders of nature at the Botanical Garden or finding comfort and sanctuary in the National AIDS Memorial Grove, Golden Gate Park offers all San Franciscans and millions of visitors from around the world a chance to embrace the beauty and diversity that enrich our city. During the 150th Anniversary festivities, we celebrate the momentous place that Golden Gate Park has held in San Francisco’s history, and ensure that it remains at the heart of our community for generations to come.”
“Golden Gate Park is a treasure that we are lucky to have here in San Francisco,” said Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). “San Franciscans from every corner of the city, from our youngest to our oldest, use Golden Gate Park every day for walking, biking, picnicking, cultural experiences and so much more. It’s truly a park for everyone, and it is the heart of our city.”
“Golden Gate Park is a treasure that so many San Franciscans and visitors have enjoyed for generations,” said Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco). “I am excited to celebrate this milestone and showcase all that our park has to offer.”
“While the City has changed, the purpose of Golden Gate Park has not. It remains a destination that brings people together. The 150th anniversary is a remarkable milestone and a testament to the value that open spaces have in our lives. I was reminded of that when my family and I enjoyed biking through the park last Sunday,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), whose Assembly district includes Golden Gate Park.
“Golden Gate Park is truly everybody’s park and Community Day will be a historic celebration of its diversity,” said District 1 Supervisor Sandra Fewer. “I would like to thank all of our partners and volunteers who are joining us to make this anniversary celebration special to everyone in San Francisco.”
“This yearlong celebration wouldn’t be possible without the more than 150 partners and community groups who have come together to honor Golden Gate Park,” said Drew Becher, CEO of San Francisco Parks Alliance. “Their generosity and support through special programs, events and donations like the trees we are planting today, will help provide a lasting legacy for this amazing public treasure.”