Start: Market/Beale Street
Finish: Market/8th Street
Featuring one of the oldest and largest parades in the world, SF Pride is a parade and festival usually held at the end of June each year in San Francisco. And, it’s a big ol’ party: most recently, over 288 groups and an estimated 50,000 marchers took place in the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade, with hundreds of thousands watching. Now that's impressive!
The first event resembling the modern San Francisco Pride parade and celebration was held in 1970—with a march down Polk Street and a small "gay-in" in Golden Gate Park. Since 1972, the event has been held each year. The name of the festival has changed over the years.
The Rainbow Flag identified with the LGBT community was originally created by Gilbert Baker for the 1978 San Francisco Pride Parade. It originally had eight stripes but was later simplified to the current six stripes. A six-stripe Rainbow Flag flies over Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro, the best-known LGBT village in the world.
The parade itself is held on Sunday morning of the Festival. The route is usually west along San Francisco's Market Street. Hundreds of thousands line the parade route along Market Street. Some arrive hours in advance to claim a prime spot.
The parade consists of hundreds of groups from various organizations including some well-known like Dykes on Bikes and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). Many San Francisco companies have groups, sometimes chaptered by LGBT employees of the company as a community outreach or public relations effort to show support of LGBT causes.
Celebrations for San Francisco Gay Pride usually begin on the Saturday at the city’s Civic Center Plaza. This celebration will run over both Saturday and Sunday and include loads of community engagement and entertainment. You can expect speakers, alongside local, national, and international touring acts which will perform on a whopping five different stages. The event will welcome local, national, and international performers, including Amara La Negra and Cher.
The highlight of SF Pride is arguably the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade, which will take place on Sunday morning, June 30, at 10:30am. Be sure to arrive on time, and with plenty of party spirit. The parade will kick off from the Embarcadero, then travel down Market Street before finishing up at the Civic Center. This is one of the oldest pride parades in the world, and usually welcomes more than 100,000 spectators.
San Francisco Gay Pride features over 20 community-run spaces including music stages, community events, a LGBT family garden, a Queer Youth space and a Women’s stage.
© Bill Weaver/Facebook/San Francisco Pride
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