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Scenes from the Baby Birthday Parties of Golden Gate Park, Where Everybody Turns One

It’s a San Francisco rite of passage.

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Photo: Courtesy of Grace Goya

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Photo: Courtesy of Tristen Chang

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Photo: Courtesy of Alyssa Hunter

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Photo: Courtesy of Molly Sealund

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Photo: Jennifer Paschal/Forrester Photography

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Photo: Courtesy of Colleen O'Leary

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Photo: Courtesy of Alyssa Hunter

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Photo: Courtesy of Crissie Ponciano

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Photo: Jennifer Paschal/Forrester Photography

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Photo: Courtesy of Alyssa Hunter

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Editor’s Note: This is one of many stories about Golden Gate Park that San Francisco is publishing over the next month as part of the June 2017 issue. To read stories as they become available online, click here.

Let me tell you about the first one-year-old’s birthday party I attended in Golden Gate Park. It was cold. Paper plates were blowing everywhere. The birthday boy cried. Now let me tell you about the second one I went to: It was cold… 

If there’s a single experience people from all corners of San Francisco have in common, it is very likely this: gathering in a big circle in Hellman Hollow or Mother’s Meadow or maybe Children’s Playground and singing “Happy Birthday.” Take a hike through the park any Sunday afternoon and see for yourself. 

And though they tend to have the same characteristics, each party represents a special memory to someone. In that way, the park represents a million frozen moments in time to a million different people—a bond that unites us in a small but, I submit, not insignificant way.

 

Originally published in the June issue of San Francisco 

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