SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The second in-person Silicon Valley Pride parade and festival since the start of the pandemic is set to return to the South Bay.
Organizers expect 20,000 people at San Jose's Plaza de Cesar Chavez.
"We have lots of entertainment, lots of activities for all family," said Saldy Suriben with Silicon Valley Pride. "We're a family-friendly event."
Plans for this year's event started last October.
Suriben says that a lot of thought and work have gone into the spirit they hope the event cultivates and promotes.
"Our theme this year is 'Proudly Authentic'," Suriben said, "We just want people to celebrate being their authentic self."
Though representation is top of mind as Silicon Valley's Pride weekend kicks off, local business leaders say it's also going to have a positive impact on the local economy.
"(Downtown San Jose) has been struggling for quite some time in trying to come back into recovery mode," said Omar Torres, business resiliency manager for the San Jose Downtown Association, "But these past few weeks here in downtown San Jose with San Jose Jazz, with Cinequest and now with Silicon Valley Pride, our downtown is turning a corner."
Torres says he hopes the weekend's event reminds the rest of the Bay Area, that San Jose is a destination.
"San Jose is beautiful, San Jose is progressive and this community has supported Silicon Valley Pride for well over 30-something years," Torres said.
As Silicon Valley Pride leaders continue to prepare for the weekend's events, they say their goal is for the spirit of Pride to last a lot longer, not just through events but in hearts across the community.
"Not celebrated with just one month," Suriben said, "It should be celebrated 365 days in a year."
Silicon Valley Pride Weekend kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday at San Jose's Plaza de Cesar Chavez with a night festival. The parade starts at 10:30 Sunday morning with the rest of the festival going through 6 p.m. Sunday.
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