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San Francisco’s Hunky Jesus Contest to Happen Rain or Shine

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This weekend’s storm will likely taper out by Sunday, hopefully before the event starts at 10 a.m. with a family-friendly children’s Easter program in the northeast section of Dolores Park. The adult-friendly competition begins at noon with participants dressed as hunky 'replicas' of Jesus or foxy 'versions' of the Virgin Mary. (adpal3180 via Flickr Creative Commons)

Sexy Jesus. Seductive Virgin Mary. Swarms of people drinking hard seltzers at San Francisco’s “gay beach.” Cloudbursts and a wet Dolores Park.

That’s a tale that may unfold this weekend in San Francisco on Sunday during the Hunky Jesus and Foxy Mary Contest, organized by the nonprofit Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

“The event happens rain or shine,” said Daniel Dissett, otherwise known as Brother Sinthetic Soul. “We don’t have any kind of contingency plans.”

The annual event could get complicated since forecasters predict light to moderate rain, thunderstorms and strong winds all weekend. The good news is that the storm will likely taper out by Sunday, hopefully before the event starts at 10 a.m., with a family-friendly children’s Easter program in the northeast section of Dolores Park.

The adult-friendly competition begins at noon. People dressed as hunky “replicas” of Jesus or foxy “versions” of the Virgin Mary compete at 3 p.m.

“The humor that we manifest helps break down barriers and allows us to have conversations with people that we might not be able to have otherwise,” Dissett said.

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What’s the current San Francisco weather forecast for this weekend?

At this point, meteorologists expect rain to fall in the early morning hours on Sunday with isolated showers the rest of the day, said National Weather Service Bay Area meteorologist Rachel Kennedy, potentially allowing Hunky Jesus lovers to enjoy clear skies and a soggy lawn to party on.

The storm could also help deepen the state’s snowpack, supplying millions of Californians and farms with water as it melts.

Jump to more information about California’s snowpack.

Participants celebrating in the sunshine at a previous Hunky Jesus and Foxy Mary contest in Dolores Park in San Francisco. (Courtesy of Gareth Gooch, Gooch Photography)

“People on Sunday are lucking out because it looks like the worst of it will be on Friday and Saturday,” Kennedy said.

San Francisco also just got even luckier thanks to a midweek storm that pushed the city to 111% of the yearly average rainfall it receives, Kennedy said. Most of the Bay Area is also in a similar situation, receiving between 90% and 100% of the average rainfall.

This storm could drop up to 1 1/2 inches of rain and produce up to 40 mph gusts across the Bay Area. On Friday and Saturday, there’s also a chance of nuisance flooding throughout the region, but Kennedy said rivers aren’t likely to overflow.

What if it rains hard on Easter Sunday in San Francisco?

If the clouds burst open Sunday and the event can’t happen because it’s raining too hard, Dissett said the organization will postpone the event and hold it on a smaller scale at a local bar the coming weekend. You can follow event updates online on Facebook and Instagram.

This year’s Hunky Jesus and Foxy Mary contest hosted by the nonprofit the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will happen rain or shine. (Courtesy of Gareth Gooch, Gooch Photography)

Whether it rains or not, Dissett recommends that people attending bring umbrellas, coverings to congregate under and something to put on the ground to keep from getting wet.

Parking in the neighborhood around Dolores Park is limited, so the organization suggests walking, biking or using public transportation to get to the event. The organizers offer ADA parking, which can be obtained by calling 415-506-9848 or emailing easterinfo@thesisters.org.

(Organizers say that while “nudity and profanity are prohibited, some may find the Sisters’ trademark irreverence inappropriate for young children.”)

Who are the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence?

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is an “order of queer and trans nuns who believe all people have a right to express their unique joy and beauty,” according to their site. They first appeared in San Francisco in 1979 on Easter Sunday. This year marks the organization’s 45th anniversary.

The order is devoted to community service and outreach “to those on the edges and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment.” The group is known for using humor and “irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency, and guilt that chain the human spirit.”

In May 2023, the Sisters made national headlines by protesting the Los Angeles Dodgers’ decision to uninvite the organization from the team’s Pride Night — a decision that was eventually reversed, in a move that prominent order member Sister Roma called “a true testament to the power of truth over lies, knowledge over ignorance, and love over hate.”

“We’re all about spreading joy, helping marginalized communities and alleviating shame that people seem to have as part of the human condition that we feel is unnecessary,” Dissett said.

Good news for California’s Snowpack?

The storm will also reach the Sierra Nevada on Friday, and meteorologists said up to 3 feet of snow could fall on the highest peaks throughout the weekend, complicating travel over mountain passes.

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Scott Rowe, senior service hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento, said an extra couple of feet of snow is great news for the California snowpack, which is at 104% of the average for this time of year. The snowpack’s height is recorded on April 1, and this weekend’s storm will likely add a couple of percentage points to the already above-average year.

In his latest weather post, UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain wrote that this average water year is “something of a feat” because recent years have often been “characterized by either very low or very high snowpack.”

“This weekend’s storm won’t be extreme by any means, but it will be respectable by late March standards,” he wrote.

After several days of dry weather, another storm could be in the picture by the end of next week.

“There’s a little bit of uncertainty as to what’s going to happen,” Rowe said. “Some forecast models are suggesting maybe some light rain.”

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