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Countdown to Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest Oct. 10

Monday, October 7, 2019

Cable Car Bell Ringing winners

A uniquely San Francisco tradition is happening Thursday, Oct. 10 at Union Square and you’re invited! It’s our 55th Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest.

Come see the best of Muni’s professional bell-ringers in a lively competition for trophies, prizes and the title of Bell-Ringing World Champion. Everyone is welcome to attend this free, public event held from noon to 1:30 p.m.

The competition rules are clear: no props, no electronic devices, and no additional performers. For their solo songs, cable car operators and grips will be judged on the bell-ringing rhythm, originality and style.

This year’s judges include media personalities like KTVU’s Sal Castaneda, the SF Chronicle’s Heather Knight and Peter Hartlaub, NBC’s Joe Rosato, and KPIX’s Maria Medina. Expect local dignitaries, community leaders and performances by our very own Cable Car Blues Band.

Cable cars are an iconic symbol of San Francisco; they were invented right here in 1873. The sound of the cable car bell is part of what makes coasting along San Francisco’s scenic hills a singular joy.

This year marks a milestone anniversary in our cable cars’ lives: San Francisco’s cable car system was designated a National Historic Landmark 55 years ago.

The 2019 Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest is in its 55th year as well. That makes this event a double Emerald Anniversary!

The contest brings back reigning seven-time World Champion Bell Ringer Byron Cobb and challengers Balraj Singh Rai. Thomas Leal, Antonio Marquardt and four-time winner of this event, Leonard Oats.

Special thanks to our generous sponsors Union Square Business Improvement District, SF Recreation & Parks, the Cable Car Museum, Hyatt, McEvoy Ranch, Ghirardelli Chocolate and Cirque du Soleil. We’re also thankful for in-kind support from Clif Bar, the Exploratorium, Alcatraz Cruises, the Museum of Ice Cream, Outerlands and the Marriot.

Visit the Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest page on SFMTA.com for more details. No ticket or RSVP needed – just come join us at the square! Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and share images of your time at the event using #CCBR55 #SFCableCar.

Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest 2019