Pride 2021: Weekend events kick off in San Francisco with renewed hope

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Pride is returning to the Bay Area this weekend and ABC7 News is shining a light on the festivities.

Friday marks the traditional kickoff to Pride events in San Francisco.

This year it's scaled back a bit, but still just as exciting.

Pride is showing again San Francisco -- and it's feeling good, according to Khilynn Fowler.

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"Pride is feeling less restrained, we're getting back in the habit where we love to what we do and we do what we love," said Fowler.

Hundreds showed up for the Trans March resource street fair at Dolores Park Friday.

"So we're seeing each other without masks and smiles, a great way to kick off pride weekend," said Clair Farley from San Francisco office of Trans Initiatives.

Steve Porter is general manager of Harvey's bar and restaurant in San Francisco. He's ready for a busy weekend.

"It really feels like we're back, finally," said Steve Porter."

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Although there's no Pride parade again this year, there's still lots of spirit.

"We're kind of expecting one big organic party, that's what it feel like it's going to be this year," said Porter.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused about 30 Castro businesses to fail, but the Castro Merchant's Association President Masood Samarie says things are looking brighter.

"We still have empty storefronts, but some are being filled with new business ventures," said Samarie.

The landmark Twin Peaks Tavern is ready for Pride after it almost disappeared.

The bar was saved by the community who started a GoFundMe fundraiser, which raised more than $100,000.

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"We had a rough time, it's brighter now. I feel the energy from customers coming in now," said Twin Peaks co-owner George Roehm.

And that energy can't be denied.

"Pride is still here in San Francisco, it's not going anywhere," said Farley.

A Pride Street Fair is planned for Saturday at noon at 18th Street in the Castro district.



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