With 250 contingents marching, Sunday’s San Francisco Pride parade was the largest ever in the event’s history. But even with this year’s resistance-themed political overtones, the parade and Civic Center afterparty went off peacefully and without major incidents, drawing an estimated crowd of more than a million people downtown.
“San Francisco is home to some of the brightest, most talented, most active, activists and outspoken political leaders. That’s going to be the sentiment of San Francisco Pride this year,” SF Pride board president Michelle Meow told CBS 5.
“What we’re trying to communicate to this administration is that we’re here,” she said. “We’re here. We’re LGBTQ. We’re Muslim. We’re black. We’re immigrant. We are American. We’re not going anywhere.”
The weekend-long Pride festivities and their widespread side-effects were not entirely without incident, as Mission Local notes a few Sunday night skirmishes in Dolores Park. Most notably, a 28-year-old man was stabbed, and an unauthorized party in the park almost escalated into mob violence before roughly two dozen police arrived to disperse the crowd.
“The only thing that seemed to stop the whole scenario was when a tall, wiry and really stoned gay guy named Cameron near my group began twerking and the whole mob of people ran at him and began to dance around him,” an eyewitness told Mission Local. “Sounds silly, but he probably saved someone’s life with a twerk! People started dancing, but there was still a lot of negativity in the air. People started dispersing and the dancing probably staved off anymore fights until the police surrounded the place.”
Mission Local also reports one visitor from Ireland was struck on the head with a bottle at roughly 9 p.m. Sunday night in Dolores Park. She was attended to by the SF Fire Department, and was not hospitalized. And as is pretty much the case on any warm weekend, Dolores Park was left littered with gargantuan amounts of trash.
Saturday’s Dyke March was also complicated by a minor fire on a fire escape at Castro and 18th that afternoon, which was brought under control within 30 minutes. “There was a first-alarm fire in the Castro district,” The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management’s Francis Zamora told CBS 5, describing it as minor but potentially very complicated because of all the vehicle and foot traffic in the neighborhood.
The police and fire departments, SFMTA, and the Department of Public Works all approached the weekend as if it were a nonstop emergency, in order to be prepared if a real disaster occurred during Pride. “These activations for large-scale city events give us the muscle memory to be able to know who to talk to and know what their capabilities are in the event we have something larger-scale that’s going on,” Zamora said.