The scenic, extremely progressive, and highly scenic college town of Santa Cruz - just a 90-minute drive south of San Francisco - has a population of just 60,000 but an extremely active and vibrant gay community. In early June each year, the city celebrates Santa Cruz Gay Pride - the date this year is June 2, 2013. The event is organized by the city's Diversity Center and includes a day-long festival and Gay Pride Parade - each year this event draws more than 5,000 participants.
Santa Cruz Gay Pride Festival takes place on Sunday, from 11 am until 2 pm, at a new location this year, downtown's Pacific Avenue. The festival, now in its 39th year, is preceded by the Santa Cruz Gay Pride Parade, held at 11 am on Sunday and led by Dykes on Bikes, Cheer San Francisco, and the parade's grand marshals. The parade runs along Pacific from Cathcart to Cooper. Performers at the festival last year included Frootie Flavors, the Santa Cruz Derby Girls, Lex Is-Word, and Cheer San Francisco.
Additionally, gay-popular bars, restaurants, hotels, and shops in the area have more going on than usual during Pride Weekend. Take a look at the excellent visitor site produced by the city's official tourism organization, the Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council.