Pink Saturday / Pride Castro Street Pre-Party is an event held annually the night before the San Francisco Pride Parade. The Dolores Park Dyke March earlier in the day is a precursor to the evening events.
The event is planned and run by the Non-profit group The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with permission of the City of San Francisco. The event is one of the largest fundraisers for the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
The location of the event usually stretches from the intersection of 19th and Castro to Market and Castro, then from the corner of Market and Castro down to the intersection of Market and Noe Streets.
You must enter from one of the security checkpoints located on the main streets around the perimeter. Once inside the streets are full of people, music is playing and there are vendor tents placed down market street.
Alcohol is severed from local Castro Bars and from some kiosks around the event grounds. Some people choose to try and enter one of the many bars around the area, but it is ill advised as most are packed far past capacity.
The atmosphere of the event is similar to others held around the country including Southern Decadence in New Orleans. There are usually several DJ tents, as well as floats and kiosks hosted by corporations and local community groups.
The event, like the Pride Parade, is an international draw. Although the event is and LGBT event, it is considered to be all inclusive and welcoming of all people as long as they act in the spirit of the Pride Week.
The event use to be from sun down until sunrise. In recent years the event has been stopped before 1:00am. The reduction in time is due to multiple factors; costs have increased due to cleanup, medical services, and police presence. The event has a spotty safety record due to an upsurge in gun violence between gangs, the violence is not directed towards the LGBT community.
The violence has been greatly reduced due to higher police presence, security checks at the gate, and citizen watch groups that patrol the event. Even with the prior safety issues the event still draws huge crowds.