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San Francisco Pride events kick off this weekend

By Brigid Gaffikin, Bay City News Service

June 23, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - San Francisco's annual Pride Parade festival and celebration is scheduled to kick off Saturday at noon, bringing hundreds of thousands of attendees to the city who are expected to infuse an estimated $100 million into the local economy over the course of the two-day event and the week leading up to it, president of SF Pride's board of directors, Joey Cain, said today.

This year marks the 36th San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade and Celebration, according to organizers.

"We are one of the biggest (LGBT parades) in the world," Cain said.

SF Pride is the largest public event held annually in Northern California, and the second largest in the state next to the Rose Bowl, he said.

In May, the organization won the San Francisco Convention and Visitor's Bureau's 2006 Cable Car Award for promoting tourism in the city.

Saturday's official SF Pride events will begin at noon in Civic Center Plaza, with performances and speakers on the main stage through 6 p.m.

On Sunday at 10:30 a.m. the annual Pride Parade will get underway with a roar when the more than 500 members of the Dykes on Bikes/Women's Motorcycle Contingent lead almost 200 other floats and parade participants down Market street to Civic Center.

The Dykes on Bikes will lead the march from Market Street at Davis and Beale streets, in the city's Financial District, and the entire parade is expected to wind up in Civic Center by around 2:30 p.m.

On the Civic Center main stage, performances and speakers are scheduled from noon through 7 p.m. Sunday.

Other, related events this weekend include the Transgender March and Rally tonight, which departs Dolores Park at 7 p.m. and heads toward Civic Center.

The 14th annual Dyke March is planned for Saturday, with participants gathering from 3 p.m. in Dolores Park, and marching at 7 p.m. from the park to the Castro neighborhood.

Pink Saturday, a Castro Street party organized by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, begins on Saturday where the Dyke March leaves off, running from 7 p.m. through midnight at 18th and Castro streets.

On Saturday morning a giant pink triangle will be set up at Twin Peaks and will stay in place for around a week, Cain said.

"It can literally be seen from 60 miles away," he said.

Finally, the Frameline San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival began June 15 and runs through Sunday.

A number of San Francisco Municipal Railway lines will be affected by the parade and extra service will also be provided in the Metro subway from Friday night through Sunday night, the agency reported today.

The F Market and Wharves historic streetcar line will be suspended from Sunday at 7 a.m. through the end of the Pride celebration between Van Ness Avenue and the Embarcadero, according to Muni spokeswoman Maggie Lynch.

The F Market will continue to operate on either side of this stretch of Market Street.

Tonight, Muni lines 6 Parnassus, 19 Polk, 21 Hayes, 22 Fillmore, 26 Valencia, 33 Stanyan, 47 Van Ness, 49 Mission/Van Ness, 71 Haight-Noriega, F-Market and Metro "owl" bus service will be affected by the Transgender March and Rally from around 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Muni lines 33 Stanyan, 22 Fillmore, 35 Eureka, 24 Divisadero, 26 Valencia, 37 Corbett, F Market and Metro "owl" services will be re-rerouted or otherwise affected, Lynch reported.

On Sunday, Muni lines 5 Fulton, 6 Parnassus, 9 San Bruno, 14 Mission, 15 Third Street, 19 Polk, 21 Hayes, 26 Valencia, 27 Bryant, 30 Stockton, 31 Balboa, 38 Geary, 45 Union-Stockton, 71 Haight-Noriega, 76 Marin Headlands, F Market and Metro "owl" buses will be affected by the Pride parade and other related celebrations, according to Muni.

Copyright © 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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