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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pink Saturday Canceled

Posted By on Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 4:48 PM

CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
Due to increasing violence during Gay Pride weekend in San Francisco, the well-attended and much-loved Pink Saturday party is no more. 

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence announced over the weekend they would no longer be hosting the gay street party, which, aside from being a good time, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for nonprofits in San Francisco. 

“Pink Saturday” is a fictitious business name registered by The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc. in San Francisco. Since 1995 the Sisters have been the organizers and permit holders of the annual closure of Castro Street for the Saturday evening of Pride Weekend. The event grew every year, drawing thousands to the Castro during Gay Pride. With that growth, came too many challenges (read: crime). 

“Pink Saturday has been increasingly difficult to produce in recent years,” says Sister Selma Soul, coordinator of the event. “An escalation in violence associated with the event convinced us last summer that the event needed to significantly change if we were to produce it again.”

The decision to pull out of the event came after many months of meetings with community members, Supervisor Scott Wiener, the SFPD, and various city agencies, who attempted to come up with a plan that would create a crime-free, fun event.  In 2010, Stephen Powell, a 19-year-old high school basketball player was shot and killed during the Pink Saturday event. In 2013, a 28-year-old woman was brutally attacked and robbed by group of people in an incident that was caught on video. 

And last year, two women were beaten during the event and a Sister was attacked while taking donations during the Pink Saturday event. 

Per the Sisters: 

Without a clear vision this close to Pride Weekend, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have voted to suspend planning for 2015 and will not be applying for a street closure in the Castro for Saturday, June 27, 2015. The Sisters may explore new manifestations of “Pink Saturday” in future years, but at this time we are suspending production. As a group composed solely of volunteers with no paid staff, the challenges that have grown with the event are simply too great for our organization to address.

We thank the efforts of Supervisor Scott Wiener, the SFPD, and many community members to continue this traditional Pride Weekend event. We offer support to any organization that may wish to pursue a street closure permit for the evening of June 27, 2015, but we will not participate in a capacity that would put the physical safety of our members and volunteers at risk that evening.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Bio:
Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

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