San Francisco Pride Parade & Festival

SF Pride Parade Festival - Ferry Building

26 Jun San Francisco Pride Parade & Festival

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Dates:  The last full weekend Saturday & Sunday of June
Time: from about 11 AM to 6 PM
Location: At SF Civic Center Plaza
More info:


Date: Last full weekend of June on Sunday
Time: Starts at 10:30am
Location: Begins at Market St & Beale streets. Ends at Market and 8th streets
More info:

San Francisco Pride Parade

The festival is traditionally held in the last full weekend in June. This commemorates the Stonewall riots. The independently organized Trans March is held on the Friday before the parade while the Dyke March and Pink Saturday events are held the Saturday night of the festival in The Castro. A two-day (Saturday and Sunday) festival has grown up around the Sunday morning parade. It is a collection of booths, dance stages, and vendors around the Civic Center area near San Francisco City Hall. On the Sunday of the parade, an area of the festival called Leather Alley features fetish and BDSM oriented booths and demonstrations.

SF Pride Parade Festival - Civic Center Rainbow Flag

SF Pride Parade Festival - Stage

The San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Celebration, usually known as San Francisco Pride, is a parade and festival held at the end of June each year in San Francisco, California, to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and their allies. The 44th annual parade in 2014 included over 200 parade contingents, and is described on the official website as “the largest gathering of LGBT people and allies in the nation”. The San Francisco Pride parade is a world-renowned LGBT pride parade. It is held on Sunday morning of the Festival. The route is usually west along San Francisco’s Market Street, from Steuart Street to 8th Street and it runs from 10:30 am until almost 3:00 pm. Participants line up off the parade route in advance of the start of the parade.


SF Pride Parade Festival - Rainbow Market St     SF Pride Parade Festival - Market St Cheerleaders  SF Pride Parade Festival - Golden Gate Float

SF Pride Parade Festival - Rainbow Floats Dogpatch

SF Pride Parade Festival - Dykes on Bikes
The parade consists of hundreds of contingents from various groups and organizations. Some of the more well-known contingents are:
Dykes on Bikes, formerly known as Women’s Motorcycle Contingent (WMC) for legal purposes, has several hundred motorcycle riders, almost all women-identified although they welcome all gender-variant people. Some of the women are topless, some wear leather or fanciful costumes. The sound of hundreds of motorcycle engines gives this contingent a big impact. They are traditionally the first contingent in the parade; one reason for this is that it’s difficult for motorcycles to run reliably at the walking pace of the rest of the parade, so as the first contingent they can move at an easier pace. On November 13, 2006, they won a battle to trademark the name “Dykes on Bikes”, having struggled since 2003 to persuade the United States Patent and Trademark Office that “dyke” was not an offensive word.
SF Pride Parade Festival - Drag Trolly Cable Car
Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), is usually one of the largest contingents, featuring several hundred people. These are typically the (straight) parents or family members of LGBT people, sometimes marching together with their LGBT relatives. Many carry signs indicating where their PFLAG chapter comes from. It’s common to see signs from all over Northern California. This contingent is notable for the swell in cheers (and some tears) that follow it along the route.
SF Pride Parade Festival - Love Balloons
Politicians frequently participate in the parade, as a way of making themselves visible to LGBT prospective voters. LGBT-affirming religious groups of many denominations contribute several dozen contingents. Nonprofit community groups and LGBT-oriented local businesses contribute more than half of the contingents. It’s common for them to decorate a flatbed truck or float, along with loud dance music, or create a colorful contingent that carries a visual message out to the bystanders.
 The leather contingent consists of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and pansexual leather and BDSM groups. Many San Francisco companies have a contingent, sometimes chaptered by LGBT employees of the company, sometimes chaptered by the company as a community outreach or public relations effort to show support of LGBT causes. Groups which are anti-gay typically do not have contingents. During the 1990s it was common to see anti-gay protestors in the spectator area along the parade route, holding large signs condemning homosexuality, often with biblical passages. In the 2000s such protestors have become less common.
 SF Pride Parade Festival - Market St Drag
Hundreds of thousands of spectators line the parade route along Market Street. Some arrive hours in advance to claim a prime spot on the curb with a clear view of the street. Others climb onto bus shelters, the walls of subway station stairs, or scaffolding on buildings to get a clear view. As the parade ends, the spectators are able to pass through the barriers and march down Market street behind the parade. The end of the parade route is near the Festival location at the Civic Center.

SF Pride Parade Festival - Rainbow Eyelashes

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 event organizers each year select a theme for the event, which is reflected in the logo and the event’s publicity.

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, arguably the best known LGBT village in the world.On August 3, 1997, Teddy Witherington (who previously organized the London LGBT Pride Event 1991–1997, including the first EuroPride Festival in 1992) was hired as the organization’s first Executive Director. During his tenure, the celebration evolved into a multi-cultural festival and attracted support from high-profile celebrities and sponsors, including the B52s as Main Stage headliners in 2001 and Sir Ian McKellen as Grand Marshal in 2002. Witherington formally stepped down on January 6, 2006 and was succeeded by Lindsey Jones who had joined the staff in 2004. Jones served as executive director through the 2009 event.

SF Pride Parade Festival - Muni Rainbow Tutu

SF Pride Parade Festival - Civic Center Rainbow Lighting