Cable car bell ringing contest set for July 9

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SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will host the 52nd Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest July 9 at noon in Union Square.

“This competition is a Muni tradition that dates back to 1955,” says Ed Reiskin, SFMTA’s director of transportation. “Over those 60 years several grips and conductors have been crowned champion – and a select few have taken the crown more than once. This year we’ll witness three past champions meld physicality, rhythm and improvisation for a chance at their 3rd or 4th crown.”

Trini Whittaker has held the title of World Champion Cable Car Bell Ringer since 2012. Whittaker will face competition from two three-time winners: Ken Lunardi (1997, 2002, 2006) and Leonard Oats (2007, 2008, 2009).

The rules are no props, no electronic devices, and no additional accompaniment. The idea is to recreate the atmosphere of an operator in service, featuring his or her best showmanship for customers on San Francisco’s cable car lines. Operators are judged on rhythm, originality, and style.

A total of eight challengers will demonstrate their bell ringing on motorized cable car No. 52 at Union Square. Alongside the professionals will be amateur bell ringers who will vie for a separate crown.

Trophies will be awarded to the top three contestants in each competing class. Cash, hotel stays, restaurant certificates and show tickets are some of prizes donated by Union Square merchants and San Francisco Travel partners.

The 52nd World Champion Cable Car Bell Ringing competition is sponsored by the SFMTA and supported by partnerships with local business.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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