The SF Pride Celebration returns to downtown San Francisco June 23-24, attracting hundreds of thousands of revelers for the annual parade and festival. Now in its 48th year, SF Pride is the largest LGBT gathering in the nation, and this year the theme is Generations of Strength. In addition to the main celebration, dozens of events kick off in neighborhoods around town, including, of course, the city’s historic Castro District, home to SF’s queer community since the 1960s.
Civic Center Plaza Park at the foot of City Hall will host the main festival (noon-6 pm Saturday, 11 am-6 pm Sunday), where you’ll find over 200 exhibitors and more than 20 stages and venues. Sunday’s parade of more than 280 contingents and floats will make its way from the Embarcadero through the heart of downtown San Francisco to the Civic Center festival. Dykes on Bikes, a longtime parade staple, celebrates its 42nd anniversary this year with a fleet of nearly 400 riders. This year also features local activists recognized for their contributions to the LGBT community as the parade’s grand marshals.
The Castro District, the historic home of San Francisco’s LGBT movement, will be celebrating Pride all month with a variety of special events. The GLBT Museum is the only one of its kind in the U.S., and is home to a must-see collection of posters, photographs and artifacts, including a display of Harvey Milk’s personal belongings. Speaking of Harvey Milk, be sure to stop by the Human Rights Campaign Action Center & Store at 575 Castro St. The building is the former site of Milk’s Castro Camera shop, where he also lived and organized his political campaigns. As you walk the streets of the Castro, you’ll notice the Rainbow Honor Walk, a series of bronze plaques honoring LGBT heroes. You can follow the sidewalk tribute from the heart of the Castro down Market Street, and on the way, rainbow crosswalks adorn the intersection of Castro and 18th streets.
The Castro is home to some of the city’s top eateries and bars. Twin Peaks Tavern, known as the “gateway to the Castro,” was the first gay bar in the country to feature huge glass windows, an important first step in bringing the gay community out of the closet. The Lookout is the Castro’s most popular bar and features an almost always packed balcony overlooking the intersection of 16th and Market streets. Perhaps the most acclaimed Castro restaurant, Frances is a neighborhood gem serving up modern California cuisine that changes with the seasons. Another neighborhood gem, the Michelin-recommended Anchor Oyster Bar has been a top seafood destination since 1977.
-Frameline, The SF International LGBTQ Film Festival
The historic Castro Theatre and other Bay Area venues host the longest-running and largest LGBTQ film event in the world. June 14-24
-SF Gay Men’s Chorus Presents “Unbreakable”
The SF Gay Men’s Chorus performs a new musical that draws on the experiences of LGBTQ people over the last 12 decades at the Nourse Theater. June 22-23.
-Annual Pink Triangle Installation and Commemoration
Volunteers install a giant pink triangle on top of Twin Peaks starting at 7 am, followed by a commemoration ceremony at 10:30 am. June 23.
-LGBT Night at AT&T Park
Tickets to the game include a special LGBT-themed Giants scarf and admission to a pre-game party from 5-7 pm. June 21.