San Diego Pride Day Will Be Virtual

Jano le Roux

San Diego Pride will be largely interactive for the second year in a row after organizers revealed Tuesday that the current COVID-19 epidemic leaves them with no definite “path to safely produce Pride events at the same immense scale we did prior to the pandemic.”
The annual Pride weekend, which takes place in July and includes a parade and concert, is the region’s biggest civic affair, drawing over 350,000 people and generating $26.6 million in revenue.

San Diego Pride declared in April, a month after the pandemic started, that the summer tradition will be canceled owing to a statewide ban on major events to combat the spread of COVID-19. It reversed direction a month later, announcing that it will now host an eight-day immersive Pride festival, culminating in a virtual parade.

According to a release from San Diego Pride, the televised Pride parade, called Pride Live, will take place on July 17 in accordance with “smaller, COVID-19 compliant and scalable in-person satellite events across San Diego County,” with details on in-person events to be released in early June.

“Pride is a time we come together to celebrate the beautiful diversity of our community, honoring the struggles we’ve overcome and the work we have yet to do. 2020 didn’t stop us, and in 2021 our resilience will continue to shine!

San Diego Pride board, staff, and volunteer leadership team has been working since the fall of 2020 on contingencies for interactive virtual gatherings, a full in-person event, and a mid-road of both live streaming content with scaled back in-person events. We will celebrate Pride this year!

Once public health and safety guidance becomes clear we will update this event page on how we’re moving forward with planning this year’s Pride celebrations,” the Pride website says.

Todd Gloria, the mayor of San Diego, expressed his approval for the vote on Tuesday.

“At this moment, I admire San Diego Pride’s resiliency and adaptability. “It is a testament to the strength of our LGBTQ+ community that we can still find ways to be proud and honor each other in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles,” he said in a tweet.

The annual She Fest will kick off this year’s eight-day Pride festival on July 10 and will run through July 18 with a number of activities, including the Spirit of Stonewall Rally and the Interactive Pride 5K.

San Diego Pride is one of the region’s most awaited activities, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors during the city’s peak tourist month, with Comic-Con International a week away. Last week, Comic-Con revealed that it will host a three-day in-person gathering Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 26–28, after canceling the in-person convention last year in favor of a simulated affair.

“I support Pride’s difficult decision to change this year’s festival for public safety reasons,” said Nathan Fletcher, chair of the County Board of Supervisors. “I know how much our community, including myself, anticipates it every year. I’m looking forward to seeing you again next year because there will be much more to celebrate.”

“This measured approach to reopening allows us and our over 500 partner groups, companies, and institutions to adjust to the changing guidelines and public health status in ways that feel best and safest to them while still celebrating Pride,” San Diego Pride said in a statement Tuesday.

“I am forever grateful to each and every volunteer, donor, staff and board member, elected official, community member, small business, and sponsor who not only stayed with us but actually leaned in and stepped up their support during the most challenging and traumatic years in generational history,” Fernando Z. López, San Diego Pride’s executive director, said Tuesday.

“The toll COVID-19 has taken on San Diego Pride, each of us, and all of humanity must be healed. It is going to take some time. Although I understand that this year’s Pride activities will look different, I am certain that next year’s Pride will be a huge, memorable event.”

Photo Credits:

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Photo by Elyssa Fahndrich on Unsplash

Photo by Tanushree Rao on Unsplash

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