SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – Pride weekend revved up as the 27th annual Dyke March rolled through the Mission and the Castro Saturday evening.
“Just stay free, and be yourself, love who you want, and everybody keep an open mind,” said Gaya Blair Pendleton of San Francisco.
That’s the message that Pendleton wanted to send as she rode her motorcycle for the third year in a row.
The Dyke March has become a tradition for hundreds of participants, but this year, it takes on a greater importance for Lisa Cohn of San Francisco.
“Especially now in the difficult political times, where everything is so precarious, basic human rights are precarious, people’s human rights are being caged right as we speak, we feel like it’s really important to stand out and be proud,” said Cohn.
Hundreds of participants danced and performed – all decked out in their rainbow best.
“For us it means that we are proud lesbians, that are excited to be here and we’re not going anywhere,” said Kelley Carrasco of Oakland.
Whether it was parade marching, parade watching or bar hopping, getting around events slowed to a crawl by car.
Sunday the city’s iconic Pride Parade celebration will close and tie up city streets around Market Street, starting on Beale Street and ending at Civic Center Plaza.
About 100,000 people are expected to attend the festivities.
Saturday night, partiers were celebrating well into the night in the Castro District.
“Just the community, it’s so much different from LA, it’s more family-oriented, just true to values out here, this is what I really, really enjoy,” said Elias Palacios, who is in town from Los Angeles.
SFPD will have a heavy police presence Sunday. The department is urging people to leave extra time to get to the Civic Center venue, because there will be metal detectors. They are also asking people to leave bags at home.