San Francisco gears up for return of Winter Walk

San Francisco is embracing the holiday spirit, gearing up to open the Winter Walk along Union Square this Friday.

The typically bustling Stockton Street is undergoing a festive transformation into a serene holiday promenade.

"The holidays are in full swing," Marisa Rodriguez from the Union Square Alliance said. "The energy these past few weekends has been amazing, off the charts and this is just going to add to the excitement behind me is Winter Walk."

Winter Walk resumes as Union Square works to encourage more shoppers to return to the area amid construction on the Central Subway.

Stockton Street is closed to traffic and converted into a winter retreat for shoppers to relax, enjoy hot chocolate, or simply take in the seasonal ambiance.

After a pandemic-induced hiatus, efforts are underway to revive this tradition.

This year, the walk has shifted one block to the north, running parallel with Union Square, creating a cohesive winter experience.

The street will feature food trucks, seating areas, and festive decorations.

Jon Handlrey from Handlrey Hotels emphasized the importance of making shopping in Union Square a unique and memorable experience for visitors, turning it into a sought-after shopping destination.

"Here's an opportunity," Handlrey said. "Come, we have the ice rink, we have the shops, now we've closed the street down so that it's a family event. It's a family experience, and nobody can touch us."