The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will host the 50th Muni Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest at noon, July 11, in Union Square.
“The cable car bell ringing contest is a great San Francisco tradition,” said Edward D. Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “Our Grips and Conductors are remarkable performers who put on a great show for San Francisco and provide great service to San Franciscans and visitors alike every day.”
Motorized cable car No. 62 will be parked on Union Square serving as the centerpiece of the competition. The contest will feature two competitions, one for local media and community representatives and another for cable car Grips and Conductors. Along with some legendary heavy hitters returning to face off in this year’s professional category, three to four teams of local media and community representatives will try their hand at making music with the flick of a wrist during the amateur event.
Following the amateur competition, cable car crew members will face-off for the chance to take home the title of World Champion Cable Car Bell Ringer. Defending champion Trini Whittaker will compete against six challengers. The 2013 bell ringing finalists are Ken Lunardi, Leonard Oats, Jorge Lacayo, Joseph Sue, Singh B. Rai and Ignacio Sandoval.
The six challengers will take on reigning champ Whittaker, who dethroned favorite Oats last year in a “ring off” after the two tied—the first tie in the event’s history.
Prizes will be awarded to the top three winners in each competing class. Cash and gifts donated by Union Square merchants, such as hotel stays, restaurant certificates, tickets to various shows, etc. will be awarded. Prizes for the amateur contestants will be donated to charitable organizations.
The mistress of ceremony duties will once again be graciously performed by comedienne Debi Durst. Entertainment will be provided by The Slot Blades, a band comprised of Cable Car Grips and Conductors, as well as a performance by the 49ers Gold Rush Cheerleaders.
Muni's 50th Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest is presented by the SFMTA with the generous support of its long-time partners: the Union Square Business Improvement District, the Friends of the Cable Car Museum and Presenting Sponsor Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.