SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – After a two-year hiatus the San Francisco Pride parade and celebrations will return June 25 and 26.
This year’s festivities will again bring back rallies and the performance stages as well. The city is expecting a large turn out — more than half a million people — throughout the weekend.
The San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration Committee had to cancel the parade and Civic Center Plaza festival in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“2018 and 2019 I was at the front of the parade on Market Street,” Suzanne Ford, the interim executive director of San Francisco Pride, explained. “I’ve experienced that and the joy, the outpouring of love you feel when you go down that street. I think that’s going to be even magnified this year.”
Ford explained that the huge parade, rallies and performance stages will return throughout the weekend on June 25 and 26.
“There will be half a million people out here,” Ford said. “There will be one main stage right where we’re standing. There will be four community stages out here. We will have exhibitor booths and then we will also have beverage booths. It’s just going to be amazing.”
The city has seen up to a million visitors during pride weekends in years past, and many of the participants and LGBTQ businesses are hopeful to see the crowds return. However, getting to this moment hasn’t been easy.
“Coming out of the pandemic when the city’s fighting to recover, it’s essential to the city this time,” Ford said.
San Francisco drag show host Juanita MORE! will bring back her annual pride party that benefits LGBTQ nonprofits in the city.
“I’m excited that we’re back in full force and I’m hoping that everybody figures out a way to give back to their community and support it,” MORE! said.
She’s also one of the organizers of the People’s March, which follows the route of the first gay liberation march 52 years ago along Polk Street.
“The thing that I’m most excited to feel is that family sort of feeling,” MORE! said. “As big as the pride party is for me on Sunday, there’s still this really intimate feeling about it when I look around and see so many faces that I know are doing great stuff in the city.”
KRON4’s annual Pride special, Love Will Keep Us Together, will be aired Thursday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m. Watch on KRON4 and KRON ON.