Nuns, zombies, Sesame Street characters, clowns, nurses, aliens and pharaohs roamed about San Francisco’s Castro District on Saturday evening. And many of these Halloween enthusiasts eagerly made their way to the fourth annual “Glow in the Streets.”

Held from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Comfort & Joy’s block party featured a unique array of costumes, a packed dance floor and the opportunity to literally glow in the dark.

Subscribe to our weekly arts & culture newsletter

As a standout Halloween-themed event that celebrates queer culture, diversity and artistic expression, newcomers and Castro Halloween veterans alike anticipated the block party’s in-person, highly festive return to Noe Street (between Market and Beaver streets) this year.

First-time “Glow in the Streets” attendee Nikos Pecoraro, from the East Bay, described the block party as a “kind of magical” event. He said, “We’re just here celebrating. … It’s like, ‘Wow, we have a chance to be with our community.’”

Ensuring the event space was as effective and glowtastic as possible required dedicated efforts from volunteers, such as San Francisco-based artist Oscar Gallegos Zamora.

“It involved a lot of heavy-lifting,” Zamora explained, referring to the many barricades that needed to be placed around the perimeter of the block party. 

Halloween festivities have returned to the Castro this year, including Comfort & Joy’s “Glow in the Streets.” The popular block party, in its fourth year, celebrates queer culture and diversity. (J.L. Odom/Bay City News)

Event prep also required sourcing electricity from surrounding businesses to ensure that lights and glow effects were visible and sounds, like those coming from the DJ booth, were audible. Plus, there was the decorating — and a lot of it.

Said Zamora, “We put up a ton of fabric everywhere, like endless yards and yards of neon fabric and banners and flags and giant three-story-tall things. It was nice; it was exciting.”

The neon-painted stage at Saturday’s event featured performers such as Alotta Boutté, God’s Lil Princess, Johnny Rockitt and KaiKai. And DJs such as the SyntheTigers were there to get the crowd dancing to thumping EDM beats.

Pecoraro planned to enjoy the sights, festive atmosphere and perhaps a couple of cocktails while there. He also had a certain ambition in mind: “I’m looking forward to meeting my future boyfriend [here].” 

Dancing, socializing, costume-admiring, possibly meeting a future boy/girl/nonbinary-friend — and, of course, celebrating Halloween — “Glow in the Streets” offered it all and then some.