SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego Pride is set to hit the streets of Hillcrest this weekend, with city and community leaders, and residents leading the celebration of LGBT pride.
This year's SD Pride theme is "Allied in Justice: United in Action." Organizers say the theme is meant to bring awareness to LGBT issues, especially "given the changes brought about by the recent election."
SD Pride's website reads:
"The marginalization of women, communities of color, seniors, people with disabilities, immigrants, religious minorities, and other oppressed communities is compounded exponentially when those identities are combined, and even more so when they include those who are transgender, bisexual, lesbian, or gay ... The systems that oppress our groups can only be dismantled through joint efforts, and the creation of systems that lift us collectively to progress can only truly thrive if undertaken with unified intention."
Events begin Friday night, with a rally and march in Hillcrest and continue into Saturday and Sunday with Pride's annual parade and music festival.
Traversing the areas of Hillcrest and Balboa Park throughout the weekend could be difficult. Before you head out to the area, be aware of any traffic conditions and leave with enough time to spare.
Every year, the event brings in millions of dollars in revenue.
"The economic impact is enormous," said volunteer Eddie Reynoso. "We're expecting about 1,900 to come into just our neighborhood. That's not including people that are coming into Mission Hills, North Park, Gaslamp, so with a double bang between Pride and Comic Con it's a win-win for the city and it's a win-win for tourism and an enormous win for our businesses."
After other Pride events were interrupted by protesters in cities across the country, San Diego Police are stepping up their presence to keep everyone safe. They'll have more uniformed and undercover officers that will be ready to respond at a moment's notice to any disturbance.
One volunteer tells 10News he's open to letting everyone send their own message.
"The fact that there are people out there saying we need to protest and possibly shut down the parade or may make a different kind of presence, it says that we as a community need to listen to our brothers and sisters that we may not have listened to," said Benny Cartwright. "People of color, trans people, we need to listen to them."
Public and paid parking locations, disability accessibility, and free shuttle routes and schedules information are available on Pride's website CHP has also issued a traffic advisory for southbound Sr-163 at University Ave. ahead of the Pride parade's start at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Saturday may also turn out on the muggy humid side for some. Parade and festival goers should stay hydrated and protect them from the sun throughout the day.
This weekend, SD Pride is set to hold the following events:
Spirit of Stonewall Rally
WHEN: Friday, July 14 at 6 p.m.
WHERE: The Hillcrest Pride Flag (1500 University Ave.)
WHAT: To kick-off LGBT Pride weekend in San Diego, local leaders will hold a rally at Hillcrest's Pride Flag location, focusing on unity amongst all communities, and commemorating the Stonewall riots of 1969, considered the catalyst for the LGBT movement.
WHAT: Fabulous Hillcrest is hosting a Pride Block Party, featuring food and drinks, a Ferris Wheel, performances by local DJs, and a special performance by American Idol David Hernandez. The party will start with a Trans Pride March from Balboa Park to Hillcrest's Pride Flag. Ticket info.
Annual Pride 5K
WHEN: Saturday, July 15 at 9 a.m.
WHERE: University Ave. at Centre St.
WHAT: The annual Pride 5K race is back as a way for runners and locals alike to engage the community. The race features post race snacks and a high-tech shirt on a USAT&F Sanctioned course. Race info.
WHEN: Saturday, July 15 at 11 a.m.
WHERE: Parade begins the Hillcrest Pride Flag at University Ave. and Normal St., heads west on University Ave., south on 6th Ave., left onto Balboa Dr., and ends at Quince Dr.
WHAT: San Diego's annual Pride parade is among the largest in the country, with more than 100,000 spectators expected. Local city and community leaders and residents will march from Hillcrest's Pride Flag to Balboa Park to celebrate LGBT culture and pride. Parade day info. Full parade lineup.
Pride Music Festival
WHEN: Saturday, July 15, and Sunday, July 16 at 12 p.m. - 10 p.m. (Saturday) and 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. (Sunday)
WHERE: Marston Pt., Balboa Park (6th Ave. & Laurel St.)
WHAT: San Diego Pride's annual Music Festival will feature more than 200 musicians, bands, comedians, and dancers performing on multiple stages across Balboa Park. Attendees can also check out vendor booths, art exhibits, cultural presentations, and food across the festival grounds. Festival info and tickets.
San Diego Pride has even included their own Spotify playlist of music for you to get in the spirit of the weekend's festivities:
"Coming Out Stories" event
WHEN: Sunday, July 16 at 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: The Ink Spot (2730 Historic Decatur Rd #202)
WHAT: San Diego Writers, Ink is hosting readings of "coming out" stories submitted to their organization to celebrate San Diego LGBT Pride. More info.
More information on San Diego Pride, their organization, and events year round can be found on their website.