'We can't wait': Castro merchants who survived pandemic excited for return of Pride parade to SF

"This will be a wonderful way to celebrate emerging from the pandemic."
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- After two years of the coronavirus pandemic, the San Francisco Pride parade is officially coming back in person this June.

"I'm excited. I've had an opportunity to drive in the parades several times, so I can't wait to see who the Grand Marshals are," said Scott Faber, San Francisco resident.

Scott Faber has lived in the Castro for 30 years. He's been to 20 Pride parades and says this year will be about bringing people back together.

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"A lot of my own friends, that's why they came back. Let's say some maybe moved away and they come back for pride and that will happen again this year," said Faber.

The San Francisco Pride Board has high expectations for this year's Pride. They made the announcement on our streaming show ABC7 at 7 Wednesday morning.

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"We can't wait to get back. We haven't had any revenue in a couple years, so we have to get started but we are so excited," said Suzanne Ford, Interim Executive Director of the SF Pride Board.

Pride week will be key for the financial recovery of this neighborhood.

"This will be a wonderful way to celebrate emerging from the pandemic," said San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman and added, "People start traveling to San Francisco again and filling up our hotels and patronizing our business that is going to be such a good thing for San Francisco."

According to the Castro Merchant's Association, about 30 businesses had shut down in 2021.

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A giant illuminated pink triangle was installed on San Francisco's Twin Peaks in commemoration for Pride week despite the canceled events amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The owner of Rossi's Deli is glad they survived the pandemic and now is eager to welcome tourists back.

"In the past it used to be more than 500,000 people showing up for Pride week and for the festival from many different countries," said Isam Dughaman, Owner of Rossi's Deli.

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Before the pandemic, clothing stores like Knobs were getting about 10 percent of their yearly revenue during Pride week. Now they hoping to get some much needed relief this year.

"It's a huge deal for us," said William Herrera with Knobs and added, "We've been designing a lot more during the pandemic so we have a lot more 'Made in San Francisco' items."

The Pride parade and celebrations will be back on June 25-26.

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