San Francisco’s LGBT Pride parade and celebration will be represented in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Saturday, March 15, and according to Pride organizers, it will be the first time they’ve had a contingent in the parade.
The announcement comes as St. Patrick’s Day parades in Boston and New York City continue blocking open LGBT participation.
But Olivia Canniffe, spokeswoman for United Irish Societies of San Francisco, which is organizing the local St. Patrick’s Day event, said, “We’ve never not invited them. They’ve been in the parade before.” Canniffe said as far as her group is concerned, “the parade is all-inclusive.”
The last time Pride took part in the parade “was either last year or the year before. I don’t know off the top of my head,” she said.
Canniffe wasn’t aware of any other gay groups that have taken part in San Francisco’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Pride Parade Manager and board Vice President Marsha Levine said that between she and former board President Joey Cain, who have 30 years of Pride history between them, “We can’t ever remember SF Pride being in their parade. Maybe they have better historical knowledge than we do.”
Levine said gay veterans and the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band probably have marched in the St. Patrick’s Day parade before. Calls to the local LGBT veterans group Alexander Hamilton Post 448 and the Freedom band weren’t immediately returned.
In any case, Canniffe noted the theme of this year’s parade is “A Tribute to the Irish Workers of America,” and she said, “We’re very all-inclusive. We feel like [Irish workers] is an all-inclusive group of people. Everybody has contributed to make this place the way San Francisco is today.”
Levine said she’d “probably” join Saturday’s parade.
“I’m searching for something green to wear,” she said. “I don’t have green.”
Those wanting to march with San Francisco Pride can join the contingent at 10:30 a.m. Saturday to line up on Second Street between Folsom and Harrison streets. Email questions to Levine at firstname.lastname@example.org.