Pride is Back: March, Rally, and Block Party All on Tap in Mid-July

The traditional Pride Parade is scrapped in favor of a march from Balboa Park to Hillcrest, but the weekend is full of other large in-person events including a block party with live music

NBC Universal, Inc.

Forget about the scaled-down version of San Diego Pride we were expecting this summer. Organizers expect the celebration to be back on a much grander scale for 2021.

NBC 7 learned Thursday the Hillcrest Business Association applied for a two-day block party permit for Pride weekend, July 16 and 17, and expects the city to grant it. 

So what went into the last-minute decision? Well, not much as you might think.

“People were going to come out and celebrate anyway,” said Benjamin Nicholls, Executive Director of the Hillcrest Business Association. “People were going to come to Hillcrest for Pride whether or not we had a party, so why not have a party?"

Several in-person events are part of the updated plan:

  • The Resilient Community March: Takes the place of the normal parade, and will be a march from Balboa Park to Hillcrest.
  • The Pride Block Party: A two-evening event with live music and other activities. Organizers expect this event to draw over 100,000 people between the two days.
  • The Spirit of Stonewall Rally: Takes place during the Friday festivities during the Block Party.
  • Click here for more event info.
In celebration of Pride Month, a Pride flag was displayed over San Diego City Hall for the first time.

The new plan is music to the ears of Gossip Grill general manager Darcy Carson. The bar restaurant is just a short walk from Hillcrest's Pride Flag at University Avenue and Normal Street, the epicenter of the two-day block party event. 

For Carson, “Going back to normal, getting to see people, getting to hug people, getting to see someone's face actually," are what have her most excited, she said.

Pride weekend has brought up to a quarter-million people to the world-famous neighborhood. Nicholls said this year’s event could attract close to half of that.

The block party will be reminiscent of other block parties, pre-pandemic that is. Normal Street will be closed at Harvey Milk Street. On one side of the street will be a VIP section with eateries and a bar, and there will be a stage underneath the Pride flag.

“The great news is, come June 15, everything is going back to normal in terms of masks and social distancing, so we anticipate very little actual regulations,” Nicholls said.

“This is a celebration of Hillcrest coming back to life,” added Nicholls. “I think there is a real sense in the neighborhood. There is a real energy. You can feel it on the street.”

Carson said she was already trying to hire up her staff in anticipation of June 15. With fuller Pride festivities on the calendar, Carson will have to hire even more.

“Now that Pride is on, we have more indoor capacity going on. All we're doing is trying to hire more staff and get more bodies in here,” Carson said.

Earlier in June, San Diego Pride announced plans for a scaled-down Pride and included a lineup of events and activities, highlighted by a few virtual celebrations. Many of those events still have the green light.

Additional events are as listed:

Pride: Together Again – Art Exhibition

Friday, July 9 – 6:00 PM
San Diego Pride Office

She Fest
July 10 – 1:00 PM
Hillcrest Pride Flag

Light Up the Cathedral
July 14 – 7:00 PM
St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral

True Colors Revue
Thursday, July 15 – Sunday, July 18 – 7:00 PM

Virtual Pride 5K
Friday, July 16 – Monday, July 19, 2021

Pride Live
July 17 – 9:00 AM
Online streaming on Facebook and YouTube

Pride Senior Coffee
Saturday, July 17 – 9:30 AM

Pride Youth Picnic
Saturday, July 17 – 11:00 AM
Pioneer Park, Mission Hills

Black Pride Rooftop Party
July 17 – 12:00 PM
Solamar Hotel

Pride Military Pool Party
Saturday, July 17 – 2:00 PM
Viejas Resort Allure Pool

Pride at the Park
Saturday, July 17 – 2:00 PM
Viejas Casino & Resort

Latinx at Mujeres Brew House
Saturday, July 17 – 3:00 PM
Mujeres Brew

Pride at The Hive
Saturday, July 17 – 4:00 PM
The Hive

Pride Family Gathering
Sunday, July 18 – 9:30 AM
San Diego Youth Services

Pride at Deja Brew
Sunday, July 18 – 11:00 AM
Deja Brew

San Diego Loyal – OUT at Event
Saturday, July 24 – 7:30 PM
Torero Stadium

Contact Us