Summer begins in the City by the Bay as Market Street is adorned with 500 Rainbow flags. Known as the “Gay Mecca” the city begins to explode with queerness in preparation for PRIDE. June is known as Pride Month which is the culmination of San Francisco’s vibrant LGBT roots.
Pride Weekend falls on the last weekend of June each year in commemoration of the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. On Pride Saturday close to 150,000 people gather at Civic Center for the first day of the two-day Celebration. Stages of music, more then 300 exhibitors, great food and drinks are available to enjoy. On that Saturday night there is the annual Dyke March which begins at Dolores Park and ends in the Castro District for the Pink Party.
On Sunday morning the roar of 500 motorcycles begins the Parade as it winds down Market Street and ends at the Civic Center. Market Street becomes one big rainbow as the flag comes down the street. Various groups, city leaders and celebrities adorn the parade route as well.
The Civic Center and Castro are big parties the whole weekend. Numerous nightclubs have special events as well. Drawing nearly 1 million visitors each year the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer culture seeking to celebrate LGBT heritage. There are 200 parade contingents, 300 exhibitors, 20-plus stages and venues. It is the largest LGBT gathering in the nation. Pride brings together the LGBT community and allies in the spirit of solidarity and demonstrated to the world that the rich diversity of the Golden State is the source of our greatest strengths.
By Tami B.