Someone is planning a Pink Saturday party for Saturday, June 29, in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, but it’s not the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the group that’s been hosting the Pink Saturday street festival in the Castro for years.
The Sisters’ event draws thousands of people to the neighborhood and raises money for nonprofits on the eve of the city’s LGBT Pride parade every year, and is set for the same night as the SOMA party.
The agenda for the May 9 meeting of the Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation, which oversees street closures for events, lists discussion of a “Pink Saturday Fundraising Block Party.” The party is supposed to take place on Utah Street between 15th and Alameda streets. Whoever’s backing the event is proposing to have the streets closed from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. that day.
“That’s not us,” Sister Selma Soul, of the charitable drag nuns group that’s been hosting the Castro party for more than 20 years, said of the SOMA event. “I don’t know who’s calling it Pink Saturday.”
She said that her nonprofit has a business license for Pink Saturday, but she wasn’t sure if it’s been renewed properly.
“It’s become this thing where people refer to that Saturday as Pink Saturday,” just as people refer to facial tissue by the brand name Kleenex regardless of who made the product, she said.
It’s not clear who’s behind the SOMA event, or whether it’s just a paperwork snafu. A city transportation spokesman wasn’t available for comment Thursday, and more information on the apparently new Pink Saturday wasn’t immediately available.
[Update Thursday, May 2]:
According to documents that Derek Hena filed with ISCOTT, the block party is a fundraiser for Pink Mammoth, a collective that builds and hosts a camp at Burning Man, among other activities.
Organizers, which are listed as Mighty and Pink Mammoth, are planning to have DJs and food trucks. The event itself will be from noon to 8 p.m. Hena couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Thursday night.
[Update Wednesday, May 8]:
In a May 3 email, Soul said she’d spoken with Hena, who was “very nice and very apologetic,” and the event’s name would be changed to the Pink Mammoth Block Party Fundraiser.
“It’s a benefit for their Burning Man theme camp, breast cancer, and a colleague dealing with medical issues,” Soul said.
But in response to emailed questions May 7, Hena said, “Unfortunately we’re unable to produce the event at this time until we have full approval” from transportation officials.
The city “just received a letter from the grumpy old man that owns the building across the street who is opposing the event,” he said. The man claims “his tenant cannot have access to his building,” which Hena said is “BS because they are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.”
Hena indicated he may try to plan smaller events to raise funds.