SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, April 29, 2023 (San Francisco Chronicle): Clear skies, sunny weather and barrels of colored powder drew hundreds of people Saturday afternoon to downtown San Francisco’s fledgling East Cut neighborhood to celebrate the beginning of spring. The Holi festival, organized by neighborhood groups Ideate SF and Together SF, commemorated one of the most significant festivals in Hindu culture. Saturday’s event marked the second year in a row that organizers in the East Cut banded together to put on the festival at the Crossing, a three-acre outdoor space between Howard and Folsom streets that temporarily served as the city’s Transbay bus terminal.

This year’s festival doubled in size compared with last year’s inaugural event, and “really reflects the diversity of San Francisco,” said Kanishka Karunaratne Cheng, one of the festival’s organizers. A team of 40 or so volunteers put together the festival to try to create a sense of community among neighbors in the East Cut, the area between Mission and Harrison streets east of Second Street that was renamed in 2020. Organizers said they planned to host a third festival next year with hopes of making the event an annual tradition. San Francisco, in some ways, is late to the party. Many cities across the Bay Area have celebrated the “festival of colors” for years. Stanford’s annual celebration draws thousands of students and attendees who use 5,500 pounds of colored powder.

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