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San Diego Pride breaking records, again

San Diego Pride breaking records, again.
Photo credit:
Jim Winsor - SDPIX

San Diego didn't disappoint its residents and visitors this weekend for the 46th annual San Diego Pride festival. The weather cooperated and brought plenty of sunshine and blue skies throughout the weekend.

The Hillcrest Pride Block Party kicked-off the festivities early Friday afternoon. People enjoyed live music, entertainment from legend Chad Michaels with other drag performers, food, and cocktails.

 Pride officially started at the Stonewall Rally under the Pride flag at 6 pm, celebrating this year's theme "Stonewall 50: A Legacy of Liberation."

The Block Party continued on until 11 pm, but local clubs and businesses were hopping with eager pridegoers all night long. Rich's became a beacon of celebration with its giant unicorn head watching over University Avenue. 

Then on Saturday, it was time for the parade. The weather was a  temperate 77-degrees with a slightly cooling marine layer which lept everything comfortable. 

San Diego Pride said in a statement that this year's event broke attendance records, estimating more than 300,000 people showed up. There were also over 275 contingents marching. 

Attendees were also witnesses to history as a four-ship, F-15 flyover from Cal Guard's Fresno 144th Fighter Wing roared overhead in honor of transgender servicemembers. 

High energy and the lack of protesters helped the parade go smoothly, many walking underneath the parade's huge rainbow tail to Balboa Park where the music festival took place. On Saturday, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer King Princess was among the many performers who entertained crowds.

On Sunday, the music festivities continued beginning at 11 am with Jenny Pocket and ending with this year's headliner Melissa Etheridge at 7 pm. 

Overall the event was a great success. There were some concerns about safety after a few incidents rocked the community within the past six months. Earlier this year, 29-year-old Stefano Markell Parker, took a loaded automatic rifle and fired into the busy Asian Bistro on University Avenue.

Then multiple acts of vandalism on the Pride flag prompted a community fundraiser to correct the damage. And this past April a shooting at a San Diego-area synagogue which killed one person prompted City Commissioner and LGBT activist Nicole Murray-Ramirez to ask for armed guards at the LGBT Community Center. 

But this weekend was incident-free according to Pride organizers, proving once again that San Diego Pride continues to make history while hosting one of the most successful Pride festivals in the world.

*Picture, bottom left, courtesy Fernando Zweifach López Jr: all others Jim Winsor SDPIX.