By Brittany Doohan
The 43rd Annual San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade, one of the biggest GLBTQ events of the year, is fast approaching! Whether you live in San Francisco or are traveling to our neck of the woods for this event, you may have some questions. When is it? What can I bring? Where do I park? Well folks, we’ve got you covered. Read on for some frequently asked questions about the upcoming San Francisco Pride Parade so you can start planning (and be prepared for) this epic celebration.
When and where is the San Francisco Pride Parade?
The celebration will take place at Civic Center Plaza on Saturday, June 29, 2013 from 12-6pm, and Sunday June 30, 2013 from 11am-6:30pm. The parade will take place Sunday, June 30, 2013, kicking off at 10:30am, and will run along Market Street, starting at Beale and ending at 8th.
What is this theme for 2013?
"Embrace, Encourage, Empower"
What’s the history of SF Pride?
The Pride Celebration honors the LGBT patrons of the Stonewall Inn in NYC who rebelled in response to a routine police raid on June 27, 1969. On June 27 the following year, a "Gay-In" that took place was the early progenitor of the current Pride Celebration. Since 1972, the Pride Celebration has been held yearly under various names, including: "Christopher Street West," "Gay Freedom Day," and "International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade." It was then renamed to the “San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration,” which stuck for good.San Francisco Pride is one the largest and most well known Pride events in the world. This annual event symbolizes several things: the long history of GLBTQ dignity, the freedom for all people to express and be proud of their sexual identities, and the passion to combat oppression. From this grew the mission of the San Francisco LGBT Pride: “to educate the world, celebrate our culture, commemorate our heritage, and liberate our people.”
[Photo: Juan Carlos Pometta Betancourt]
Do I need a ticket to the event?
Nope! There’s no fee to attend the celebration or to watch the parade (unless of course you would like to purchase Grandstand Seating along the parade route). They do request a voluntary $5.00 donation at the gates of the celebration area, which will go towards Pride’s Community Partners Program (awarded back to community non-profits). Because of these donations (and beverage purchases), Pride has been able give over $2.1 million to community non-profit organizations since 1997!
Is there an age limit?
SF Pride welcomes all ages to come celebrate. On Sunday, there will be a Family Garden area that will provide a safe and less-crowded area for families.
Where can I find parking?
It’s tough to find parking in San Francisco — especially close to a big event like SF Pride. Save yourself some time and take public transportation. San Francisco is known for its public transportation, and you can hop on just about anywhere. If you’re coming from outside the city, find parking away from the parade and hop on a bus or train to get there.
Familiarize yourself with the MUNI transit system (for transportation within San Francisco city limits) and with BART (for transportation to and from San Francisco from East Bay and other parts of the Bay Area). To find the best route to the celebration at Civic Center or to the parade along Market Street, please visit transit.511.org for more information.
Can I bring my pet?
Yes, pets are allowed at the event — especially service animals assisting people with accessibility needs. However, SF Pride recommends leaving Fido at home because the event can get very crowded, noisy and hot!
For more information about the San Francisco Pride Parade, visit www.sfpride.org.