SAN DIEGO – Pride returns to San Diego this weekend to celebrate community togetherness.

San Diego Pride board member John Coyne speaks to FOX 5’s Aric Richards in the station’s studio on Thursday, July 14, 2022. (KSWB)

Like many events of its size, the past two years of San Diego Pride have been hampered by the pandemic. Organizers canceled much of it in 2020 and then held largely virtual celebrations a year ago, with only select in-person events.

Organizers say this year should feel like the celebrations of old and even includes some fresh additions to bolster an already eclectic mix of events.

“We are back after a long two years of being rested and virtual,” Pride board member Josh Coyne told FOX 5’s Aric Richards. “We’re ready to be back in the parade. This year, specifically, we have added new contingents to the parade and most importantly, we’re really excited about our festival that kicks off after the parade on Saturday and Sunday.”

For first-time attendees, Coyne recommends coming as your “full authentic selves and ready to celebrate.”

He also encourages patience as the slate of events may create some headaches when it comes to parking and traveling around parts of San Diego, including the Hillcrest area where much of Pride is taking place.

“Be ready to come celebrate,” he said.

Check below for a peek at the event schedule, tips on transportation and upcoming road closures.

See a few Pride Week highlights

This year’s event is back in full force with some annual favorites returning to the schedule.

Several notable events — like last weekend’s She Fest and Wednesday Light of the Cathedral celebration — already are in the rearview mirror. Starting Friday though, the full force of Pride Week gets underway with the Spirit of Stonewall Rally and reaches its crescendo with the weekend’s Pride Festival.

Here are a few events to keep in mind:

July 156-7 p.m.Spirit of Stonewall RallyHillcrest Pride Flag (1500 University Ave. in San Diego)
July 15-18VariousUnite! Music FestivalSpin Nightclub (2028 Hancock St.) and Pier 1 Hornblower Landing (1800 N. Harbor Dr.)
July 168-10 a.m.Pride 5k RunLocated at the corner of Centre and University Avenue in Hillcrest
July 1610 a.m.Pride ParadeBegins at the Hillcrest Pride Flag at University Avenue and Normal Street, traveling west on University, turning south on 6th Avenue and ending on Quince Drive
July 16-1711 a.m.- 10 p.m.Pride FestivalMarston Point at Balboa Park at Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street

Those aren’t the only events on the docket, though. See a full list of programming here.

How much do things cost?

Many of the weekend’s events are available to attend for free or at a low cost.

The Spirit of Stonewall Rally, Strike a Post: Pride Yoga, the Pride Weekend Kickoff BBQ and the Pride Parade are among the community events where admission is free.

Organizers expect the highly popular parade to draw some 300,000 people to the Hillcrest area to cheer on parade floats and various contingents. While it’s too late to register to march in the parade, this handy map offers a sense of where to watch.

Tickets are still available for the Pride of Hillcrest Block Party happening July 14-15 near the Hillcrest Pride Flag. The cheapest is $20 (with a service fee) for a single day or $45 for a two-day general admission ticket. VIP options also are being sold for those ages 21 and up for $150.

Same-day tickets to Thursday’s Louder Than Words: SDWC Annual Pride Concert 2022 are $30 for general admission and $25 for youth, seniors, disabled and military. They also can be purchased here.

Attendees also can purchase up to six general admission tickets apiece to San Diego Pride Festival for $32 (plus service fees) for one day or $38 for both days. VIP admission is being offered for $225.

How to venture around San Diego

Event organizers are strongly encouraging attendees to consider their methods of transportation for the weekend slate of activities.

Travelers may use the San Diego MTS Rapid 215 service to get to and from the bulk of Pride activities. The route picks up every 15 minutes or faster throughout the day with the last bus leaving downtown/Hillcrest in both directions after midnight, the agency’s website shows.

Offered on the route is direct service to University and Park Boulevard for Saturday’s Pride Parade, which may alleviate the need to find parking. It also connects to a free Pride shuttle service at Park Boulevard and Presidents Way. Of note, MTS says the northbound stop is at Park and Naval Hospital while the southbound stop is Park and Inspiration Point Way.

Several routes (10, 11 and 120) will see detours happening Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. In that time, stops on University Avenue, between 1st Avenue and Park Boulevard, will be “discontinued,” the agency said.

See a full list of upcoming MTS travel alerts and detours here.

Those traveling from out of the area also can peruse the North County Transit District website for up-to-date maps, schedules and fares using the Breeze, Coaster, Sprinter and Flex services.

Some other things to keep in mind:

  • For those traveling by bike or scooter, a bike and scooter corral is available at the corner of Balboa Drive and El Prado;
  • Those using a ride share like Uber or Lyft can be dropped off at the entrance on the corner of Laurel Street and Sixth Avenue;
  • A free parking lot also is available at the Old Naval Hospital at Park Boulevard and Presidents Way. From there, a free shuttle service will transport people to the Pride Parade and Pride Festival. Saturday’s shuttle to the Parade run from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and again for the Festival from 8 a.m. to midnight. On Sunday, it will run continuously from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

When (and where) to expect road closures

To accommodate the weekend festivities, some roads will be closed at times this weekend. Organizers say to expect the following closures:

Friday, July 15

These roads will be closed starting at 6 a.m.

  • Normal Street and Harvey Milk Street.

Saturday, July 16

These roads will be closed from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Centre Street from University Avenue to Park Boulevard;
  • Normal Street from University Avenue to Washington Street;
  • Cleveland Avenue from Richmond Street to Washington Street;
  • Harvey Milk Way from Cleveland Avenue to Centre Street;
  • Lincoln Avenue from Washington Street to Park Boulevard;
  • The Quince Street exit from northbound state Route 163 (closes starting at 6 a.m.); and
  • The University Avenue exit from southbound SR-163 will be narrowed to one lane and will allow travelers only to turn right onto University Avenue starting at 6 a.m.

Saturday, July 16

These roads will be closed from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • University Avenue from 5th Avenue to Park Boulevard;
  • Herbert Street from University Avenue to Robinson Avenue;
  • Essex Street from Herbert Street to Richmond Street;
  • Centre Street from University Avenue to about a half block south;
  • 6th Avenue from University Avenue to Upas Street;
  • Robinson Avenue from 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue;
  • Evans Place from 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue;
  • Pennsylvania Avenue from 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue;
  • Anderson Place from 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue;
  • Ivy Lane from 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue;
  • Upas Street from 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue; and
  • Balboa Drive from 6th Avenue and Upas Street to El Prado.

FOX 5’s Aric Richards contributed to this report.