It’s San Diego Pride Weekend! It is just one of the big weekends that is happening here in San Diego this July. The events begin this evening and they run through the weekend at various locations throughout the city.
This year marks the 42nd year for the celebration that promises to be bigger than ever with a theme this year “PRIDE Unite the World”.
Spirit of Stonewall Rally
Things kick-off at 6pm in Balboa Park at Marston Point where there will be a ceremony reflecting on the history of LGBT rights in America and here in San Diego. The first rally in San Diego occurred in 1975 recognizing and honoring leaders that worked hard to gain rights beginning largely with the Stonewall Riots that occurred in New York City on the evening of June 28, 1969.
This years keynote speaker for the Spirit of Stonewall Rally will be Eric Fanning, who recently became the 22nd Secretary of the U.S. Army. In this new role Fanning becomes the first the first openly gay leader of a U.S. military service and now in this administration is one of the highest ranking openly gay officials.
“I am humbled to be the keynote speaker and an honorary grand marshal. As our community moves forward, we strive for full inclusion of all Americans who can do the job, and just want an opportunity to serve the nation they love,” said Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning.
The community event at Marston Point in Balboa Park is a free community event. The activities kick off at 6pm an afterwards you can head over to Hillcrest to enjoy the Pride of Hillcrest Block Party.
Pride of Hillcrest Block Party
Friday evening you can head out and celebrate the neighborhood and community in a wonderful celebration. This year marks the 5th Pride of Hillcrest Block Party where the streets of Hillcrest are taken over with all sorts of music, food, drinks, carnival rides, and dancers.
The official Hillcrest Pride flag-raising ceremony begins at 6pm and helps to kick off the night long events. There will be an after party at Rich’s. Tickets start at $20; 21 and up. fabuloushillcrest.com
Pride 5K Run/Walk
Runners and walkers line up because its time for the annual Pride 5K. The event takes place on Saturday morning with warm up at 9am and the race beginning at 9:30am at University Avenue and Centre Street. For more information you can head over to frwsd.org. Race participation starts at $35
One of the big highlights of Pride in San Diego is the parade which begins at the Hillcrest Pride Flag and works its way down a 1.1 mile route through Hillcrest toward Balboa Park. This year California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will be an honorary grand marshal in the parade. The Pride parade begins at 11 a.m.
San Diego Pride Music Festival
Kesha will be performing during this years San Diego’s Pride Music Festival. She will be hitting the stage in Balboa Park as part of the musical festival that will include 96 acts across the main stage, Latin stage, Hip Hop stage, and 80’s and 90’s stage. The festival will take place July 16 -17 in Balboa Park. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $20 per day. sdpride.org
“I am beyond excited to perform at San Diego Pride this year,” the singer said. “We have come a long way with the equal rights movement, but we have so much more work to do. In my home state of Tennessee they recently passed anti-LGBT legislation – it’s another reminder that groups like Pride are so important, and I’m honored to be part of San Diego Prides event on July 16. I’ll never stop fighting for people who just want to be able to express themselves freely for who they are. ”
San Diego Pride Presents the Rainbow Zone
This year there will be some free events taking place during San Diego Pride. The new Rainbow Zone will feature all sorts of nonprofit organizations, that offer assistance and service to the LGBT, that will be showcasing what they have to offer. There will also be the Art of Pride Gallery that will feature the works of several LGBT artist. Many other vendors will be on hand as will as plenty of food from area food trucks.