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San Francisco preps for parade, cleans up

SAN FRANCISCO – For the second time in three years, San Francisco is gearing up for a ticker-tape parade to celebrate a World Series victory for the Giants.

Plans for the Wednesday bash were being made as the city cleaned up after a rowdy celebration Sunday night turned violent in some neighborhoods and police arrested three dozen people.

“I’m not going to let the spirit of this city be destroyed by 36 people,” Mayor Ed Lee said. “We’re going to move forward with a great parade, a wonderful celebration.”

The parade will take a slightly different route from the one that followed the Giants’ 2010 championship. Instead of the financial district, it will start at the foot of Market Street.

The new route is safer and affords better views than the previous route, which followed a path taken in 1958 to introduce the Giants to San Francisco after their move from New York, Mayor’s Office spokesman Francis Tsang said.

“A lot has changed since then,” he added.

Regardless of the route, hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to turn out and rival the crowd that celebrated in 2010, when players, coaches and other luminaries rode in open-air buses designed to look like cable cars and vintage convertible cars.

Tens of thousands of people crowded into a park across the street from City Hall at the end of that parade to hear players, coaches and executives thank fans for their support.

This year, the parade occurs on Halloween, a historically notorious night for San Francisco, with landmarks such as Coit Tower and City Hall bathed in orange and black light.

In previous years, hundreds of thousands of revelers descended on the Castro neighborhood, and authorities struggled to control the crowds. After a shooting in 2006 wounded nine people, officials canceled the party and the night is now marked by a heavy police presence.

As some city workers were busy Monday erecting VIP stands in front of City Hall, others were sweeping up broken glass and charred debris left behind in the Mission District and other neighborhoods where the revelry turned violent after midnight.

The Police Department arrested 36 people, the majority in the Mission. Two were taken into custody on gun charges.

However, Sgt. Michael Andraychak said the vast majority of celebrations throughout the city, from the gay mecca of the Castro to touristy North Beach, were rowdy but peaceful. Fans doused each other with beer and champagne and danced in the streets, blocking motorists who happily honked their horns in celebration while stuck in gridlock.

“There were celebrations all over the city, and they were all peaceful and upbeat,” Andraychak said. “Unfortunately, as the night progressed, this other element emerged and was intent on doing violence.”

Bonfires of trash were lit in several intersections, and a $700,000 public transit bus was torched. Windows were broken out of several businesses and vehicles, including a news van.

Firefighters needed a police escort to douse a bonfire near the Giants’ ball park. They also fought fires fueled by couches, news racks and other debris.

Police said a damage report was not yet available.

Police said most of the violence and damage occurred several hours after the last pitch and miles from Civic Center, where an estimated 10,000 peaceful fans watched the game on a giant Jumbotron television hastily erected by the city.

Mayor Lee said fans who watched the Giants endure six elimination games in the first two rounds of the playoffs before winning the World Series in four games “have a right to release that energy in a positive way.”

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Staff writer Terry Collins in San Francisco contributed to this report.

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