An “only in San Francisco” tradition continues this weekend in San Francisco. It is Coronation weekend when the Imperial Court of San Francisco presents their new Empress and Emperor of San Francisco.

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The Widow’s gravesite lies directly in front of Joshua’s in Colma’s Woodlawn Cemetery.

An “only in San Francisco” tradition continues this weekend in San Francisco. It is Coronation weekend when the Imperial Court of San Francisco presents their new Empress and Emperor of San Francisco. The winners of last week’s polling will be announced after an elaborate production that takes place Saturday at 5 PM at the San Francisco Design Center. The information on that and other events throughout this weekend can be viewed at imperialcouncilsf.org.

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The Widow Norton lays flowers in tribute to her beloved Joshua during the 2011 ceremony as previous Emperors of the San Francisco look on

The event I plan on attending and would urge others not to miss is the Widow Norton’s annual pilgrimage to Emperor Norton’s gravesite in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Colma. It takes place rain or shine Sunday morning, February 26 at 9 am. It is the first official event for the new Emperor and Empress.

Health permitting, the star of the event is Jose Sarria, the Widow Norton. Last year there were performances by SF Cheer, the Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, Bobby Sunshine and Lesbian/Gay Chorus. The program was emceed by Jose Cisneros and Donna Sachet. However, the Widow Norton can never be upstaged and always has the last word. The result is a good time had by all.

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In 2010 the Widow Norton spoke to the crowd after leaving a floral tribute to her beloved.

If you have ever wondered what it would have been like to have had the opportunity to hear Jose perform at the Black Cat in the 60’s you can get a small sample at this event. Labels like legend and icon can’t really begin to describe Jose. He is a true pioneer who has already been honored with his name being given to the plaza in front of the Harvey Milk branch of the SF Public Library. You can learn more about Jose’s amazing life and legacy here.

If you don’t drive there is a bus leaving from the host hotel, Hotel Kabuki (1625 Post Street) at 8 am and Marlena’s Bar (488 Hayes Street) at 8:30 AM Saturday. So there is no excuse not to go. Did I mention that there’s free coffee and pastries?

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The Absolute Empress I, The Widow Norton

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