I attended Pride Parade for the first time this weekend, and I attended the SF Pride Parade where it’s likely THE largest Pride Parade in the world. It made me really happy seeing so many people express themselves and love who they love, while others supported and cheered on. There were a ton of people in the parade and watching, but everyone was friendly and there were good vibes all around.
I was already up in Marin Headlands earlier that morning for the sunrise, so I arrived at the parade and festivity area pretty early. Market Street was still open to traffic and the event staff was still running around getting things in place for the parade. Even at 9am, an hour and half before the parade officially started, there were people hanging out in the streets and camping out at the best spots.
Civic Center was where the festivities took place and when I went, vendors were still setting up their booths. The area was huge, spanning several blocks, and had sections for vendors, informational booths, and different activities. In the center was a stage set up for performances and musicians. It was like a giant block party. I didn’t stay too long since there was nothing going on yet and I left to catch the parade.
I lucked out and got a pretty good spot right on the corner of Market and 7th. The parade started at 10:30am, but it wasn’t until around 11 when we saw the first wave of people come by. The first group was Dykes on Bikes where people dressed up and rode their motorcycles down Market. People would wear rainbow tutus, wave the pride flag, wear the pride flag, and do all sorts of things. It was cool to see a huge gang come down the street all decked out in colorful swag.
Next came Mikes on Bikes. Similar to the first group, except they’re on bicycles instead of motor bikes. After the first two groups, there was a gap until we saw the rest of the parade as people slowly made their way down. Lots of people expressing themselves and advocating for different agendas and the crowded responded by cheering. Both parade walkers and spectators had huge smiles on as they walked by each other.
I’m really glad I was able to make it to pride this weekend. I heard from people around me that pride is the biggest parade in the city and is one of the most fun events. They’re not wrong and it was great being surrounded by strangers who were so friendly. The whole event had a very uplifting atmosphere.
Happy people. Happy lives. Happy pride.