Though the story that Pink Saturday was cancelled was widely, incorrectly reported a couple weeks back, the fact is that with or without the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence manning the gates, 10,000 people will end up in the Castro on the Saturday of Pride weekend no matter what. Thus, as the Bay Area Reporter tells us, Supervisor Scott Wiener's office has confirmed to Castro merchants that the City will be footing the bill for the event, with the intention of partnering with a community organization and trying to end the gathering by 8 p.m. this year.
As SFist reported last month, the Sisters bowed out of dealing with Pink Saturday this year after several months of debate because of the ongoing chaos and violence that it has brought to the Castro the last several years. In 2014, the final blow came when one of the Sisters and her husband were attacked by some hoodlums while walking through the neighborhood on their way home from the event.
And as many of us remember, a shooting took place near the intersection of Castro and Market as Pink Saturday was winding down in 2010. The shooting left 19-year-old Stephen Powell dead.
The Sisters talked about keeping the name Pink Saturday and not allowing it to be used, but whatever the event is called, Wiener aide Adam Taylor told neighborhood merchants on Thursday, "We are going to have an event that Saturday but will be ending it earlier." This means the city will be responsible for staffing the event and putting out the porta-potties, and they will likely be axing the music stages this year.
To make matters more crazy, attendance at this year's Pride weekend is expected to spike
if when the Supreme Court delivers their decision on nationwide gay marriage. That's expected to come, just like the last time, right at the end of their term in late June.
Ending the event early will likely involve some aggressive use of street-cleaning trucks and hoses pointed at the curb, as has been done to clear the streets of the Castro on recent Halloween weekends. An 8 or 8:30 end time, as has been discussed, means clearing the streets before dark, and barely an hour after the Dyke March wraps up.
And, as per usual, most LGBT locals will opt to hide indoors at house parties that night, or head somewhere downtown/out of state.