San Francisco throws one of the more colorful and prominent Gay Pride festivals in the world, with the key events taking place over the last weekend in June (on June 29 to June 30 in 2013). Of course, San Francisco has a rich and lengthy history of gay rights, and the city's Pride events are well-attended, well-organized, and great fun for visitors - it's also one of the largest Gay Pride celebrations in the United States.
Gay Pride in San Francisco centers around a full weekend of parties, gatherings, and parades. The main events are SF Pride Celebration at the Civic Center on Saturday, June 29, from noon until 6 pm, and the SF Pride Parade on Market Street on Sunday, June 30, at 10:30 am followed by another celebration at the Civic Center from 11 am until 6:30 pm that same day.
More on 2013 San Francisco Pride will appear here as the event approaches. Here's a look at last year's fun for an idea of what you can expect.
The official San Francisco Dykes on Bikes Pre-Pride Party takes place on Saturday from noon until 5 pm at the Mission's famed El Rio Bar, which is on the edge of Bernal Heights at 3158 Mission Street. Check the Dykes on Bikes website for more information on this legendary organization, and further details on the Pre-Pride Party and other events.
The San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration takes place over Saturday (noon to 6 pm), and Sunday (11 am to 6:30 pm) at the San Francisco Civic Center, just east of San Francisco City Hall. Festivities include more than 300 vendors, artists, and other exhibitors; a slew of music and comedy acts playing on the Main Stage (this year's acts include Karmin, Jessica Sutta, JC Jones, Playboy School, Pounders, Blush, Kimberly Caldwell, Ashley Mendez, Kimberly Cole, Marga Gomez, Ryan Cassata, Lady Bunny, and many more), and similar performances and programming at Pride's 23 other stages and pavilions, such as the Trans, Homo Hip Hop, Asian and Pacific Islander, Women's, Soul of Pride African American, Latin, 60+ Space, Clean and Sober, HIV Pavilion, Leathery Alley, and more. Here's a map of the Civic Center festival grounds.
The final event is San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade, which begins at 10:30 am on Sunday and proceeds along Market Street, beginning at Market and Beale streets (near California Street) and continues for about 10 blocks, ending at 8th Street. Here's a map of the Parade Route. Among this year's Grand Marshals are Sarah Silverman, Dot Jones, Carmen Carrera, Rainbow Flag creator Gilbert Baker, former mayor Willie L. Brown, and Bishop Christopher Senyonjo
Additionally, numerous gay bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Pride Week. Check local gay papers, such as Bay Area Reporter and San Francisco Bay Times, for details. Also see the San Francisco CVB's outstanding site on GLBT travel.