Pink Saturday, the raucous street party held the night before Pride, has been canceled this year due to lack of sponsorship, according to the Bay Area Reporter. The event had been a quintessential part of San Francisco’s annual LGBT celebration since the mid-1990s, and was nearly canceled last year before a last-minute intervention.
[jump] “There’s no other community group that’s stepped up to do the Pink Party,” Sup. Scott Wiener told the B.A.R. He added that city officials still expect people to show up on the Saturday before Pride, which is June 26 this year, and the Police Department and Castro neighborhood are preparing for crowds.
In recent years, a shooting and other violence had marred the popular street party, which had attracted more than 100,000 attendees annually and had shut down a large portion of Market Street. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an activist performance group in drag, had held Pink Saturday since 1995. Last year the Sisters pulled their sponsorship due to “an escalation in violence” attached to the event. Logistically speaking, the organization was unable to handle the ever-growing crowds.
After last year’s cancellation announcement by the Sisters, the LGBT Community Center stepped in and worked with Wiener, who represents the Castro, to host Pink Saturday, renaming it Pink Party. No such arrangement was in the offing this year, and no other sponsor emerged to take the reins. Wiener told the B.A.R. that the Dyke March, which historically coincided with Pink Saturday, will still take place.
Pink Saturday began to erode in 2010 when 19-year-old Stephen Powell, a high school basketball player, was fatally shot. In 2013, a group of people robbed and brutally beat a woman in an incident that was filmed. Then in 2014 in separate incidents, two women were beaten and a Sister and her husband were attacked.