Pride festivities are in-person and in full swing.
Hundreds of people were out in Hillcrest Friday night for the start of a fun-filled weekend. Notable kickoff events included a dance party and the Spirit of Stonewall Rally, one of the city's biggest festivals.
The rally celebrates the Stonewall Riots of 1969, a series of demonstrations from members of the gay community in New York City.
Festival-goers said Pride is an important time to reflect on how much progress has been made for LGTBQ rights and to look toward the future.
“I think it’s still important because people don't realize how -- California is used to having all the freedom and rights, but in most of the country it’s not that way, so I think it’s important to stand in the unity of each other and declare that we are a force to be reckoned with basically,” Ron Alsop said.
Pride weekend typically brings thousands to San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood, known around the country for its inclusivity as a safe haven for members of the LGBTQ community and their allies.
The event made a huge comeback this year after the pandemic forced the celebration to go virtual last year.
“I love it because, honestly, being someone who’s a lesbian in public, it’s different, but at Pride, everyone is proud to be who they are,” Makayla Munoz said.
Saturday’s events featured a Ferris wheel, beer garden, food trucks, drag brunch and dance party under the pride flag at University Avenue.
"I feel so happy being out and about with this celebration, hanging out with friends after last year was such a hard year," San Diego resident Victor Monrreal told NBC 7.
"I feel like this is a great time to celebrate as a community, and really expressing who we are and defining, you know who we are as a movement, so I appreciate it," Monrreal said.
Mayor Todd Gloria wished San Diego a happy Pride, noting the city's diversity and inclusivity.
"What I see is a whole bunch of say Diegans who are out here having a great time celebrating our progress as a community towards equality," Gloria said. "I mean there's so many challenges we still face as a community, and yet we're resilient, every time we're knocked down, we get back up again we push forward. It's not just for the LGBT community, it's for everybody who believes that quality."
Here is the rest of the Pride Week Schedule of Events left:
Pride Family Gathering
Sunday, July 18 – 9:30 AM
San Diego Youth Services
Pride at Deja Brew
Sunday, July 18 – 11 AM
San Diego Loyal – OUT at Event
Saturday, July 24 – 7:30 PM