46th Annual Cable Car Bell-Ringing Contest in San Francisco’s Union Square

San Francisco’s historic Cable Car bell ringing contest delighted hundreds in Union Square yesterday. It looked like this and this.

Mayor Gavin Newsom and MTA Director Nat Ford enjoy KBLX radio’s stirring interpretation of LL Cool Jay’s Rock the Bells. (Sadly, credit for the song was given to Run DMC.)


Grand Champion Carl Payne gave in to pleas from the crowd wanting to get a closer look at his humoungous bell ringing ring: 


Carl Payne’s cable car ring. You can see the words “Champion Bell Ringer” and also the years of his victories on this Super Bowl-style finger bling:


Yesterday was all about the bell, steampunkish in its own way: 


See you next year!

Details after the jump:

 2008: 46th Annual Cable Car Bell-Ringing Contest

Leonard Oats was declared World Champion of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA) 46th annual Muni Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest, held today at noon in Union Square. The contest had two divisions, one for cable car gripmen and conductors, and the other for local media representatives who competed for prizes for their favorite charities.

The winners in the division for cable car crew members were: First Place, Mr. Oats; Second Place, Ken Lunardi; and Third Place, Byron Cobb. Oats also won the contest last year. Lunardi has won three times and also placed last year. Byron Cobb is the cable car crew member with the most wins: five.

The winners in the amateur division were: First Place, “Scottie B” of KOIT for the AIDS Research Institute; Second Place, Aaron Jones of KBLX for Feed the Children; and Third Place, Janelle Wang of ABC Ch. 7 for the Asian American Donor Program .

For both portions of the contest, the first place winner will receive $1,000, second place will receive $750, and third place will receive $500. There will also be prizes of hotel stays, dinners, and other gift certificates, which are being donated by the Union Square Association, Shanghai 1930, World of Charms, Zappos and Ghirardelli Chocolates.

The mistress of ceremony for the event was Debi Durst, and musical entertainment was provided by The Slot Blades, comprised of Cable Car Grips and Conductors.

Muni’s 46th Annual Cable Car Bell-Ringing Contest was presented by the SFMTA with the generous support of its long-time partners: the Union Square Association, ING Financial and the Friends of the Cable Car Museum. The SFMTA also wishes to thank World of Charms, Ghirardelli Chocolates, Shanghai 1930, and Zappos for their support.

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One Response to “46th Annual Cable Car Bell-Ringing Contest in San Francisco’s Union Square”

  1. plug1 says:

    thanks for the linkage! i just linked back to you.

    that ring is outta control. id rather wear that than a wedding ring (dont tell Plug2.)