Get furry at San Francisco Pride 2019 — Here’s the info you need to dance and join the parade.
by Patch O'Furr
- Friday, June 28: So Stoked for Pride with Frolic. It’s a special edition of Neonbunny’s legendary furry dance party. (DNA Lounge, 375 11th St, 8PM).
- Sunday, June 30: Meetup event page for the Pride parade. Add your name to join the furry marchers or ride the float down Market Street. (Instructions below.)
- Telegram group for furries at Pride. The live connection to everyone (145 members and rising). Edit: ask to be added.
- Telegram for parade Contingent Monitors (Volunteers are needed so there are enough safety monitors to be allowed to march! Please join and see the pinned post.)
- GoFundMe for event fundraising (still open.)
- Bay Area Furries on Facebook
Paws for thought.
The Popdust blog asks: Do Furries Have a Home in the LGBTQ+ Community? Well, I can say a lot about it from organizing for Pride since 2012. (Read to the bottom for past news, or try this 2017 San Francisco Furry Pride story by Smash.) The 2018 parade had the best furry turnout ever — I estimated over 100 came. They won the Absolutely Fabulous award. Whether or not that represents The Gay Agenda at large, SF’s “largest gathering of LGBT people and allies in the nation” opens a home (or a kennel) for us.
The Bay Area Furries float took "Absolutely Fabulous" award in the San Francisco Pride Parade, out of 240 floats. pic.twitter.com/KHCxUo246q
— Spottacus Cheetah (➡ AC, SF Pride) (@Spottacus) June 25, 2018
This year: honoring Dogbomb with the ALSAOCC, and The Bounce Car.
A recent story about a furry hero reported over $200,000 in donations in his honor: The impact of Dogbomb on the furry fandom and charity to cure ALS. I asked if the ALS Association, Orange County Chapter would join us at Pride. Their director Natalie and manager Denise will be with us. Leis will be given out because they were Dogbomb’s personal symbol of Pride. (It was confirmed by Trip Collie after he spoke with Dogbomb’s close friend Greg.)
About donations, organizer Zoren said: “YAY with matching funds provided by Spottacus, we met our fundraising goal!!!” The GoFundMe is still open and more donations will fund a better budget for next year. Why help? Check out the new attraction thanks to rising support.
Organizer Trip Collie told me: “The Bounce Car is one amazing float for us this year. It’s a huge name in the playa for Burning Man. Diplo uses it a lot! Would be great if people tweeted the GoFundMe more for it!” Jeff, the captain of the float says: “The Bounce Car is a group of fun loving, adventure seeking, party starting, positive minded, highly energetic people from Santa Cruz, CA. The Bounce Car seeks to spread their energy to others through art, music and dance.” — More video of the Bounce Car is here.
Want to know just how rad the float we have for SF Pride will be? Here's Diplo spinning tracks on it at Burning Man! It's a very well known art car from the playa with a crew that's looking forward to working with us 😀https://t.co/tIcnPQOsVF
— Bisexual Border Collie Pride ❤️💜💙🏳️🌈 (@TripECollie) June 6, 2019
PARADE INFO FOR THE FURRY CONTINGENT:
Sunday, June 30 is the SF Pride parade. General info is at sfpride.org. Spectators will be watching on Market Street from 10:30 a.m. until late afternoon.
No signup is needed to join, but do try to use the top Meetup link so we have a headcount.
TRAVEL — See this map for the parade route.
- No cars or dropoff at the assembly. The parking garage on 833 Mission St. is recommended (middle of the parade route, 15 minutes walk from each end). Costumers can change at their cars, walk to assembly and back from the parade dropoff. Or try the garage at 33 Mission St (near dropoff at 8th and Mission.)
- Or park farther away and take rideshare as close as it gets. Beware of traffic for a huge event, earlier is better.
- Caltrain is running special trips from the south bay.
- BART riders go to Embarcadero. The south central exit is closest to the assembly.
ASSEMBLE BY 1 P.M. — on the West side of Main Street, just to the south of Mission.
- Be ready NO LATER THAN 1 P.M. Allow time for costume change. (We’ll start float setup as early as 9 a.m.)
- Parade step-off could take extra hours of wait after 1 p.m. — it depends on hundreds of groups. Be patient but don’t be late. If there’s a signal to go at 1 p.m., anyone who isn’t ready gets left behind!
- The Bounce Car fits 30 people on the decks and 4 on the side. Riding isn’t assigned but those with mobility issues have priority. If you walk remember that the pavement radiates heat.
- It’s a hot, high energy event. Water will be available but hydrate yourself too. Stay safe!
FURSUITER INFO — No bins or lounge.
- NO BINS, soft folding bags ONLY. Please minimize gear with very low storage on the float. A moving event means there’s no secure place or fursuit lounge.
- Change at your car before coming, or change on the street. We do it every year.
- Be ready for the float to sweep ALL people and gear off and leave right away from the dropoff near 8th and Mission.
- From the dropoff, walk or consider pooling together for self-serve transport (rideshare or other.)
DINNER AND FURSUIT CHANGING OPTION — 6 p.m. dinner at Picaro, 3120 16th St. (RSVP required, now closed and wait list only)
- Relay’s Den in the Mission is open for fursuit changing, before and after the parade and dinner. Notify @RelayRaccoon if you will come.
- ACCESS: It’s a 10-15 minute walk from the 16th St. BART station or the Castro or Church MUNI stations (the J-Church stops only one block away) — it’s fun to ride in suit! Street parking will be scarce, so plan accordingly. SCHEDULE: 10:00am – Open to drop off gear and suit up. 12:00pm – Close and go to the staging area. Everyone should make their own plans for getting there. After Parade: Please return promptly to desuit and get ready for dinner. 5:45pm – Close and go to Picaro. 9:00pm – Return from dinner.
- Picaro is close to Relay’s. Instead of an open menu, there will be a fixed menu of vegetarian and non-vegetarian tapas and paellas. Payment is voluntary. Spottacus and Relay are covering cost and appreciate help by Paypal to: RelayRaccoon@gmail.com An optional contribution of up to $35 can offset their cost, or bring cash.
- RSVP was by June 26 for dinner headcount. Message @RelayRaccoon to be on a wait list.
HOW TO ENJOY THE PARADE AND BE FABULOUS:
- There will be free leis, rainbow bandanas, pride tags, and a DJ on the float.
- Attire: we’ve had underwear/thongs in the past but no complaints, just keep decent enough that you don’t have to join a nude contingent.
- Once the float rolls there is no stopping. It’s a mile and probably 40 minutes long. Keep up the pace, avoid the wheels and listen to the monitors!
- Marchers, watch spacing as a group and where the float is. Try not to get tangled up, leave gaps, or get too far ahead or behind. The front-facing banner is where the crowds first see us, but getting close to the barriers is good too. Use the whole street between the float and crowds on BOTH sides. Pose, give hugs and work it! Look for TV cameras on the right side after Fremont Street (a few blocks from the start.)
- #NORCALFURRIES is the hashtag for social media. #Furrypride works too.
EXTRA EVENT DETAILS:
- There is no security checkpoint to go through to get to the parade staging area. Officially we are the Bay Area Furries contingent in assembly location #156.
- Remember to bring BAGS ONLY and keep gear to a minimum as we have limited space on the float. Observe the 18” x 18” size restriction if you plan to enter the festival at the end of the parade.
LOOKING BACK AT PAST YEARS:
- 2018 — The Absolutely Fabulous award from SF Pride, best turnout ever for the float, plus a full weekend of furry dance parties.
- 2017 — SF Pride had a furry float after they took the previous year off, and this time it was a Burning Man art car.
- 2016 — Bay Area Furries did a booth and fursuiting instead of a float. They also had two well-attended furmeets for movie screenings (Fursonas and Furries: a documentary) at Frameline Film Fest, the oldest ongoing festival for LGBT cinema.
- 2015 — Return of the furry float. Elsewhere, Silicon Valley Pride invited furries and Fangcon and FWA sponsored furries in their local parades. It was a huge year because same sex marriage bans were overturned across the USA.
- 2014 — The first furry float at SF Pride since 2005, putting them in front of national media and huge crowds.
- 2013 — Growing attendance for informal fursuiting meets at SF Pride.
- 2012 — The first time I organized and covered fursuiting meets at SF Pride (I don’t believe they were active for a long time previously).
- Bay Area Furries were in SF Pride in 2002, 2004 and 2005. Tom Howling posted parade video from 2002 – the first appearance of furries at a Pride event anywhere as far as we know.
There’s all the info you need to be ready. Come out and bring your friends, this will be the best weekend of the year!