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Pandemic Pride Month Kicks Off With Pink Torch Procession From Oakland To SF

OAKLAND (KPIX) - With the roar of an engine, Dykes on Bikes kicked off Pride Month in the Bay Area with the first ever Pink Torch Procession from Oakland to San Francisco to light the pink triangle on Twin Peaks.

"To have the procession start in Oakland and move to San Francisco is also a symbol of Pride's growth and the fact that we are all in this together," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.

The second pandemic pride will once again feel different from the joyous parades running down Market Street in years past.

Instead of a parade, there will be two movie nights at Oracle Park June 11 and 12, featuring "In The Heights and "Everybody's Talking About Jamie".

"We're also going to bring the spirit of the San Francisco Pride parade to the audiences before the movies even begin. So, we will see grand marshals, we will see drag performances, we will see music, we will see fireworks both literally and figuratively," said Fred Lopez, Executive Director of SF Pride.

On June 18, there will be a Juneteenth eve Black LGBTQ solidarity event at the African-American Art and Culture Complex on Fulton.

"It will be a small street fair with some food vendors and some music. It's going to be a great way to celebrate how alike we all are," said Lopez.

This year's theme is "All In This Together" and for Pride organizers, the phrase hits home.

"I feel like our cities and our communities feel more pride than ever, actually," said Jocelyn Parrish of Oakland.

While this month is just gearing up and 2019 feels like a distant memory, the impending party in 2022 is already on people's minds.

"There's a lot of pent up excitement and demand and enthusiasm, not only for the events that this year that are a little bit smaller - we know - but next year is going to be huge," said Lopez.

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