If you ask my friends how many times they've been to the San Francisco Gay Pride, most of them will say just once. Some will say never with an attitude. Some locals even leave town during that weekend when the city is most inundated with tourists. The truth is, seeing the Pride parade once is probably enough except when you are showing friends around that weekend or, like in my case, when you are part of the parade itself. I saw the parade for the first time in 1997 with my brother's friends from out of town. I thought the parade nowadays have mellowed down quite a bit.
I've been a safety/wheel monitor with the church float since 2000. It is nice to have seen the Pride parade both from an expectator's and the marcher's view. You see the artistry and the production of each float from the crowd. As a contingent, you witness the priceless expressions and hear the joyful cheer of the crowd as the float passes by.
We were at the assembly area starting at 9:30a but we didn't start marching until 2 hours after so I had time to take pictures. Right after we marched, we were contingent #086, I went straight home to nap.
Taken during the 'Dyke March' which starts from Dolores Park, wounds through the Mission District and ends in the Castro. The march is held on a Saturday, one day before the Pride march.
They are probably standing on those mail boxes or newspaper stands. It is tough to figure out who's local and who's not from the crowd. It is never a guarantee that everyone watching the parade is from out of town.
I remember not having a great view when I saw for the first time the bigger parades like the Chinese Lunar and the Saint Patrick's. It's either you have to be early to secure a location with great views or you have to be really high up. I hope they put on sunblock.
This is the church float. Taken at the end of the parade route on 7th St @ Market. At this point, we get the 'sound system off' signal from the parade officials. It is a good one and half miles of walking.