gay_flag_lede.jpgThe Bay Area lesbian, gay, transgender and queer community is gearing up for the 42nd Annual Pride Celebration and Parade this weekend.

A bevy of events are planned beginning today and throughout the weekend as thousands head into San Francisco for the main attractions of the weekend, including the Pride festival in the Civic Center area and Sunday’s parade down Market Street.

The festival boasts more than 20 stages throughout the Mid-Market area with musical acts, performances and plenty of dancing opportunities.

The main stage will host Youtube duo Karmin singing their popular tunes.

The parade, which will showcase this year’s theme of Global Equality, will fill the streets with city officials, organizations, sponsors and celebrities including comedienne Sarah Silverman.

The parade begins at around 11 a.m. at Steuart and Market streets.

Before the weekend festivities, several events today will kick off Pride.

The Trans March is expected to draw crowds heading from San Francisco’s Dolores Park to UN Plaza in solidarity with the transgender community, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Preceding the march is a youth and elder 12:30 p.m. brunch and celebration at Dolores Park, to recognize the aging population of the transgender community and next generation of trans-identity.

A pride weekend concert will get the community humming with artistic director Jadine Louie at her last San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band concert.

The “Give Them Hope: 34th Annual Pride Concert” will honor assassinated former city Supervisor Harvey Milk with a 7 p.m. and a 9 p.m. show at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music at 50 Oak St.

For a more active celebration the Rainbow Roller Disco Party is the place to be tonight at the Cellspace at 2050 Bryant St. in San Francisco.

Organizer David Miles Jr., dubbed the “Godfather of Skate,” said the roller disco party will set the mood for Sunday when Miles leads a Pride parade contingent with the California Outdoor Rollersports Association.

“We have a design that will blow your mind,” Miles said about the roller group’s parade float. They will create the Pride flag out of hundreds of balloons.

Saturday is packed with the Dyke March at Dolores Park leading into the Pink Saturday street party in the Castro District.

San Francisco Muni officials are advising attendees and riders that the march and blocked-off streets on Castro Street will reroute several buses in the area.

The afternoon promoting lesbian activism at Dolores Park and the march through the neighborhood will end around 6 p.m. The Pink Saturday street festival will then pick up with dancing in the streets through nightfall.

For early-risers, the 33rd annual Pride Run through Golden Gate Park is a healthy start to the weekend.

This year’s benefit run, which features a 5- and 10-kilometer race followed by an awards ceremony for top finishers and a breakfast, will include former San Francisco 49ers running back David Kopay, 69, giving an inspirational talk to runners.

Kopay was one of the nation’s first pro-athletes to come out as gay 37 years ago and is a supporter of the gay athletic community.

Before Saturday’s 9 a.m. run, Kopay will be at a pre-race event today at 6 p.m. at the Sports Basement store at 1590 Bryant St.

Another early morning option is the construction of the Pink Triangle on Twin Peaks.

For decades, volunteers with project founder Patrick Carney have erected the bright pink triangle on the city slope at 7 a.m. Saturday before a 10:30 a.m. commemoration ceremony with city and Pride officials.

The triangle commemorates gay men and women persecuted in the Holocaust and ongoing strife for minority communities throughout the world.

Volunteers are also needed to dismantle the triangle Sunday afternoon after the temporary hillside monument is on display throughout Pride weekend.

For more details about Pride events visit

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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