San Francisco’s Pride Parade Through The Years

Colorful capital
Culture & Art
Virgin Hotels Profile Image
By Virgin Hotels

San Francisco has a lot to be proud of: the biggest festival of the year for this fair city is PRIDE, and each year since 1970 the festivities have drawn massive crowds to support and celebrate the LGBTQ community.

1970: The first event similar to what we know as the San Francisco Pride Parade and celebration was held as a march down Polk Street with a small “gay-in” in Golden Gate Park.

1972: Since 1972, the event has been held each year in June. 2,000 marchers and 15,000 spectators joined in 1972.

1976: A group of female motorcyclists gather at the start of the Pride Parade and the “Dykes on Bikes” tradition is born.

1978: The eponymous Rainbow Flag was created by Gilbert Baker for the 1978 San Francisco Pride Parade (originally with 8 stripes, which later changed to six).

1981: The parade was named the International Lesbian and Gay Freedom Day Parade

1995: The name of the parade changed to the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration

2002: Sir Ian McKellen was named Grand Marshal

2009: LGBT activist Amy Andre was appointed executive director of the San Francisco Pride Celebration Committee, making her the first openly bisexual woman of color executive director.

2018: An estimated 1.8 million people attended the festivities in 2018.

20019: This year’s theme is Generations of Resistance with Mrs. Vera, Vince Cristostomo, Ms. Billie Cooper, and Donna Personna, and API Ewuality named as the Community Grand Marshals.

Ready to get your PRIDE on?! Head to for the full line-up of festivities, and stop in to Commons Club for our specialty cocktail, “God Save The Queens” in support of the SF LGBT Center or Everdene for our House Wine collaboration to benefit the Human Rights Campaign.



More Culture & Art
Culture & Art

A Guide to San Francisco’s Art Scene

By: Jennifer Agress Photo: Courtesy of Yelp. Clarion Alley. What brings a city to life is its culture,…

Read More
Culture & Art

In conversation with the gal gang of The Assembly

Let’s call 2019 the year of the girl crush. In a city like San Francisco full of incredible…

Read More
Culture & Art

The Colorful Sights of San Francisco

Got holiday family stress? The truth is most of us do. With Thanksgiving just a few days away,…

Read More