LGBT Gay Pride Parade Route Map Schedule and History
Active military & Margaret Cho highlight 27th annual event
The national Gay Pride month has been set for June in the United States; Bill Clinton made it official in the year 2000. However, it will be rolling into the month of July for a weekend of eccentric and dynamic energy from one of the largest events in San Diego.
This weekend, San Diego LGBT Pride will be hosting the 37th annual Pride parade, a festival and rally from July 15 to July 17. There will also be Run and Stride with Pride, a 5k run and walk, starting right before the parade on Saturday, July 16 at 10 a.m. The parade will start at University Avenue and Normal Street and proceed west on University Avenue to 6th Avenue, it then turns south and ends on Balboa Drive and Upas Street.
This year, the theme is “Pride Around the World”, and the hope of San Diego Pride is to reflect the global quest for LGBT life in all other countries, as well as to instill hope and cause for people all over the world. All ages are welcome to attend any portion of the Pride events going on throughout the weekend.
San Diego LGBT Pride has been recognized for over 35 years. They make their name known by hosting a slew of events compounded into one weekend that grows more and more every year.
The parade has floats that drive through the middle of the streets, and hundreds of thousands of people lined up to watch. It has been said to be the largest civic event in San Diego, according to the San Diego Police Department.
Not only does this event bring out small and large businesses of every kind to support LGBT, but it is also made up of 12-15 percent of non-resident groups who come out to celebrate with local San Diegans.
The San Diego LGBT Pride Parade is the fifth largest parade throughout the United States, and in the past it has attracted more than 150,000 energized fans to watch the two-hour event. This year, the number of spectators is expected to increase even more, just as it has in the past.
The Spirit of Stonewall Rally is the opening event of the weekend, and not only does it bring back historic content and meaning to people all over the world, but it restores hope and confidence. The rally symbolizes events that happened to the LGBT community almost 40 years ago and brings together a group of people who are willing to stand up for their rights. It will begin on Friday, July 15 at 6:30 p.m. in Balboa Park at Marston Point.
Throughout this rally, there will also be a lot of celebrating over the New York legislation that just passed, allowing the right for same-sex marriages to take place, starting at the end of July. New York is the sixth and largest state in the U.S. to legalize gay marriage.
On top of that, they will also be celebrating the final end of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”policy that has demanded gay men and women serving in uniform to keep quiet for the past 17 years.
Frank Sabatini Jr., media coordinator for San Diego LGBT Pride, believes that supporters from all around have helped to make this event successful.
“It has become a giant melting pot of tolerance and those who believe in equal rights for all,” Sabatini said.
The Pride festival will have constant entertainment throughout the day, with three stages for the performers starting Saturday, July 16 from noon to 10 p.m. and it will continue Sunday, July 17 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Highly praised comedian Margaret Cho will be performing Saturday, July 16 at 8:15 p.m. on the main stage.
Although the live entertainment is a huge part of the festival, there will also be 300 participating vendor booths, plenty of food, an art exhibit, cultural presentations, and much more. During the festival, the Cabrillo Bridge may be closed temporarily.
The mission of San Diego LGBT Pride is “Fostering pride in and respect for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, locally and globally.”
“We encourage everyone to come out and join us,” Sabatini said. “It’s one of the most colorful and festive events in the city.”
Please note that Balboa Park is a smoke-free zone.
For more information and details about any Pride events, call 619-297-7683 or visit SanDiegoPride.org.