San Francisco's Pink Saturday event back on at new location

Lyanne Melendez Image
Thursday, June 23, 2016
SF's Pink Saturday event back on at new location
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will once more be hosting San Francisco's Pink Saturday, but there are some changes this year, including a new location and an entrance fee.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- At the 11th hour, Pink Saturday will now take place during Pride weekend in San Francisco. The huge street party had been cancelled after no one wanted to sponsor it. But that's changed. And this year's Pink Saturday will be quite different.

"We're taking the name back, absolutely," said Sister Roma. "Pink Saturday is ours and it will always be ours."

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For nearly 25 years, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have hosted one of the biggest parties in the LGBTQ community. It's one that in recent years also became the biggest headache for residents and businesses in the Castro.

"Thousands and thousands of people as far as you can see," said Kevin O'Conner with 440 Castro Bar. "Like, you can barely move."

The last Pink Saturday held in 2014 was marred by violence. The sisters, a nonprofit organization, decided it was unmanageable. And while last year another organization held a Pink Party, this year there were no takers, until the sisters had a change of heart.

"I think we're going to get a really huge crowd," said Sister Roma. "I feel like we're going to pull people out of the Castro and bring them to the heart of South of Market."

Pink Saturday will be held inside a parking lot across the street from SF Eagle Bar on 12th Street and Harrison, which is 1.5 miles from the Castro District. Businesses there are relieved.

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"It kinda makes sense to scale it down and take a step back," said O'Conner. "I mean, you know, at this bar we want people to be safe, you know?"

The sisters say their event will also be safe. This time they will charge a $10 entrance fee. Part of the money will help pay for security and the rest of the proceeds will be given to the victims and families of the Orlando shooting.

One of the owners of SF Eagle, Alex Montiel, says he doesn't want this event to disappear like Halloween in the Castro did several years ago.

"There is no need for another big party that celebrates the community to disappear just because of violence," he said.

Pink Saturday runs from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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