After COVID-19 ended in-person Pride celebrations last year, San Francisco is preparing to host live events again this summer.
The board of directors and staff at the San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade and Celebration announced that the city will host some in-person events for this year's celebration in June. They plan three main events: a Pride Expo, Pride Movie Night at Oracle Park with the San Francisco Giants baseball team, and a Black Liberation event on Juneteenth (June 19). The theme of Pride this year is "All In This Together."
"After a full year of physical distancing and other restrictions, the Bay Area's LGBTQ+ communities will once again be able to gather in limited, in-person events while strictly adhering to current safety protocols," a press release from the organization said.
Pride Movie Night will take place Friday and Saturday June 11-12 and will be a ticketed and socially distanced event that will follow state event capacity limits for the stadium. Building upon the 2020 Marsha P. Johnson Rally held in the city, this year's Black Liberation Event will "celebrate the intersection of Black history and LGBTQ+ culture, uplifting a marginalized community in the heart of the Western Addition," according to the SFPride website.
The Pride Expo is a modified version of the annual Pride celebration that takes place in the civic center. While the event normally features entertainment on stages, this year it will feature queer-run businesses and organizations in an event that will have the look and feel of a resource fair or comic-con. The Expo will give these vendors, merchants, and nonprofits a way to reconnect with the community after a year away.
Last year, Pride parades and celebrations across the world were cancelled or moved online because of social distancing and quarantine restrictions, and many are looking forward to being able to do things as a community again. As more and more people get vaccinated, it's looking like that will finally be a possibility for real-life parties this summer.
"The LGBTQ+ communities have been hit hard by the pandemic and so this is an opportunity for them after a year of not being able to maybe conduct business in the same way that they have before to reach communities that are important to their sustainability," Fred Lopez, the Executive Director of San Francisco Pride said.