San Francisco throws one of the more colorful and prominent Gay Pride festivals in the world, with the key events taking place over the last weekend in June (on June 25 to June 26 in 2016). Of course, San Francisco has a rich and lengthy history of gay rights, and the city's Pride events are well-attended, well-organized, and great fun for visitors - it's also one of the largest Gay Pride celebrations in the United States.
You'll find several other big Gay Pride celebrations within a two-hour drive of San Francisco - also be sure to check out Oakland Gay Pride just across the bay in September; Silicon Valley Gay Pride in San Jose in August; and Sacramento Gay Pride, Santa Cruz Gay Pride, and Sonoma County Gay Pride in Russian River, which are all held earlier in June.
Gay Pride in San Francisco centers around a full weekend of parties, gatherings, and parades - the timing also marks the culmination of Frameline, the San Francisco International Gay Film Festival, which runs over 10 days in late June. The main events are SF Pride Celebration at the Civic Center on Saturday, June 25, from noon until 6 pm, and the San Francisco Pride Parade on Market Street on Sunday, June 26, at 10:30 am followed by another Pride Celebration at the Civic Center from 11 am until 6:00 pm that same day. The San Francisco Dykes on Bikes are always a highly popular part of the parade.
The San Francisco Dyke March is held Saturday, June 25, gathering at Dolores Park at noon, with the march traditionally commencing in the late afternoon from 18th and Dolores. Before the march there's live music and other performances at the park.
Festivities include more than 300 vendors, artists, and other exhibitors; a slew of music and comedy acts playing on the Main Stage, and similar performances and programming at Pride's more than 20 other stages and pavilions, such as the Trans, Homo Hip Hop, Asian and Pacific Islander, Women's, Soul of Pride African American, Latin, 60+ Space, Clean and Sober, HIV Pavilion, Leathery Alley, and more. Here's a map of the Civic Center festival grounds.
The final event is San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade, which begins at 10:30 am on Sunday and proceeds along Market Street, beginning at Market and Beale streets (near California Street) and continues for about 10 blocks, ending at 8th Street. Take a look at the map of the Parade Route.
San Francisco Gay Resources
Check out our guide to San Francisco gay bars for ideas about where to play and have fun during Pride week, as well as the Castro Gay Hotels Guide, Downtown San Francisco Gay Hotels Guide, and San Francisco SoMa Gay Hotels Guide. Also take a look at local gay papers, such as Bay Area Reporter and San Francisco Bay Times, for more goings-on. And consult the San Francisco CVB's outstanding site on GLBT travel for general ideas about travel in the Bay Area.