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Best Spots To Watch The San Francisco Pride Parade

June 6, 2013 3:04 PM

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(credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

(credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

You won’t want to miss the action of one of the country’s most famous annual parades. The 2013 San Francisco Pride Parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 30 at Market & Beale and ends at Market & 8th Street in downtown San Francisco. With over 200 parade contingents, 300 exhibitors, and more than 20 stages and venues, the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade is the largest LGBT gathering in the nation.

Check the weather before you head out!

Celebrity Pageant Contestants

Former Celebrity Grand Marshal Cloris Leachman (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Parade Staging Area

All of the parade floats and contingents must line up Sunday morning just south of the Market Street Parade Start. Park yourself at the beginning of the whole thing near Spear, Steuart, Main, and Beale Streets. I can be great fun watching the excitement of those in parade, and occasionally rubbing elbows with a celebrity Grand Marshal. Also, watching the complex organization and structure of one of the country’s largest parades is a fascinating experience.

Don’t miss our Complete Guide To Pride!

(credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

(credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Early, Early, Early

Folks come from around the world to experience San Francisco Pride. The Parade route is packed with spectators long before the parade begins. Finding a spot against the barriers along the official parade route can be difficult anytime after 6 or 7am. But if you’re willing to wait it out, a sideline spot to the Pride Parade will be an incredible experience.

Related: 5 Ideas For Breakfast Before The Parade

Grandstand Seating

Why not catch the parade from the comfort of a Reserved Seat in the Grandstand Bleachers? Grandstand seating provides a comfortable viewing area to enjoy one of the world’s largest and best-known parades. The SF Pride Grandstands are located toward the end of the Parade route at UN Plaza, which is on the north side of Market Street between 7th and 8th Streets in downtown San Francisco.

There are no shaded areas in the Grandstands. Please wear appropriate clothing and consider bringing along a hat and sunblock. Also, you’ll want keep in mind that your space is subject to re-sale if you are not present by 10:00 a.m. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased HERE. (photo by John Vlet) (photo by John Vlet)

Civic Center Plaza

The parade officially ends at Market and 8th Street, but everyone packs the route all the way to Civic Center Plaza, in the shadow of San Francisco’s City Hall. 300 vendors, and 20 stages, not to mention parade contingents and attendees from around the world all gather at Civic Center Plaza. If you couldn’t snag a spot along the official parade route, you can still spot many members of the parade, costumes and all, at the post-parade celebration. There, you’ll fine a smoke and alcohol-free Family Garden, Queer Youth Space for teens, food, information booth, entertainment, restrooms, and anything else you might need. Happy Pride!

Don’t miss: 4 Great Family-Friendly Events To Celebrate Pride

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