SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- An organization representing merchants in San Francisco's Castro District hosted a family block party on Saturday as Pride weekend began. The event showed that celebrating LGBT equality can include everyone of all ages and while helping businesses as they continue their recovery from the pandemic.
"We didn't know this family zone was happening," said Rebecca Poretsky, a parent who attended the event with her partner and child. "It's a heavy weekend and heavy news and it feels extra important to celebrate."
Porestsky and her partner Stace Dubin felt they had to acknowledge the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade but they still wanted to enjoy Pride as a family.
"We had a friend who we thought was going to come out with us," Dubin said. "It felt especially important and especially meaningful to be around community."
It is the city's first Pride celebration in person without COVID-related cancellations since 2019. Castro District businesses hope they will keep seeing Saturday's level of foot traffic as shops and restaurants are reliant on tourism and local customers.
David Karraker, co-president of Castro Merchants said "It's important to have these types of events that get people out and show how strong the LGBTQ community is."
The block party featured a story time with a drag queen as well as a competition among drag kings and queens on a stretch of Noe Street off of Market Street. There were also vendors showcasing their art and a petting zoo.
"It feels really great to have Pride back," said Debra Forth, a vendor who makes creations out of polymer clay and found the audience of families to be a valuable customer base at the event. "Just to have everybody out and receptive and the families especially and the kids and the dogs and the music."
"The big thing we want to do is celebrate in the community," Karraker told KPIX. "Everyone has a reason to be proud and thankful for all the contributions the gay community has made to the U.S."
"There needs to be a space for everyone," Dubin said.
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