A travel journal
to San Francisco by dglawless
Quote: The last weekend in June is the Gay Pride parade and other pride events in San Francisco. I was there from Sat to Monday and it was fabulous.
This is the number one tourist attraction for San Francisco and they do it up right. All the events were well organized and everybody was welcome.
I would recommend it to any gay/lesbian person and to anybody else who enjoys a great parade.
Attraction | "The Dyke March"
The March is always led by the "Dykes on Bikes" which is a colorful group to say the least. You will see all sorts of folks on all sorts of bikes. There were some pretty impressive Harley Davidsons as well as an occasional scooter. Many of the women had on elaborate costumes. The age range was probably 18 to 80 and everything in between.
Following the motorcycles were many different groups of women. Some were representing political causes and organizations such as breast cancer, environmental concerns, animal rights groups, HIV, and lesbian and gay families. There was a large PFLAG (parents and friends of lesbians and gays) group. Lesbian police officers and firefighters and clergy groups. Every ethnic group you can imagine was represented in the march along with drummers and musicians.
The night was cool and windy but there were still about 1000 marchers and many more onlookers. It was a very exciting beginning to our Pride weekend trip to San Francisco.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 6, 2001
Gay Pride Parade
San Francisco City Centre
San Francisco, California
Attraction | "The Pink Party"
There were thousands of people there for a carnival type atmosphere. Lots of the bars were open and selling drinks on the street. There was a large presence of the police there but there was no trouble that I saw. Everybody was there to have a good time and celebrate the Pride weekend.
Pride weekend is the largest tourist draw of the year in San Francisco and it was evident by the numbers of people at the Saturday night pink party. Everybody was having a good friendly time with numerous colorful costumes and different music groups and street performers to add to the festivities. Coming from Kentucky I was most amazed at the ethnic diversity of the crowd.
As the night progressed there was dancing in the street and people were very friendly. While there was a lot of drinking going on. I didn't see anybody that appeared too intoxicated. It seemed like a great time was had by all in an open atmosphere where everybody was welcome.
San Francisco, California
We were able to get a perfect place to watch the parade. We were located near a great coffee shop that even had a bathroom we could use! That coupled with a front row spot for viewing made our efforts even more successful than planned.
The Pride Parade was, as always, started out with "Dykes on Bikes" which is followed by "Mikes on Bikes". "Mikes on Bikes" are all men named Mike riding bicycles. There were well over a hundred in each of the first two groups. The parade lasted for about 3 hours with one incredible float after another. There were groups of Gay/Lesbian Asian Pacific Islanders, Teen groups, PFLAG, Gay/Lesbian police officers, Gay/Lesbian clergy and just about every other group you can imagine and some you couldn’t. The Gay/Lesbian veteran groups included WWII veterans from all branches of the armed forces.
There were some incredible floats from businesses and the Gold’s Gym float caught the eye of my gay male friends. Lots of politicians were in the parade as well as political hopefuls. Some of the floats and marchers went for humor and some were representing more serious subjects such as HIV/AIDS service and education groups.
Many of the floats passed out rainbow colored beads and candy. It was a typical parade in many ways with a celebration of Gay Pride, Freedom and Equality. It was an awesome experience, which celebrated how far we have come and how far we have to go to be accepted as an important part of our communities.
There were thousands of people in the parade and even more watching. There seemed to be as many straight people there for the parade as there were Gays and Lesbians, which was wonderful to see.
Attraction | "The Civic Center Festival"
There were balloons and clowns and there were many families there enjoying the music and the carnival type atmosphere. There were lots of booths selling food and drink and I was impressed with how well organized it all was.
Admission was free but for a $3 donation, which went to a variety of local community groups you received a sticker which entitled you to a dollar off all drinks.
You could purchase goods of all types from jewelry to clothing, and food of all kinds. Again I was impressed with the diversity of the participants and the age range was newborn to the very elderly.
Cartoon Art Museum
655 Mission Street
San Francisco, California 94105
I have a friend who lives right in the center of the Castro District and made the decision to go on the Wednesday before. There was a cheap fare out of Cincinnati so it all just fell into place and I was so glad to have a chance to go. I am already planning my trip for next year.