Pink Saturday rescued from brink of cancellation

San Francisco’s big street party on the eve of the Pride Parade was rescued from cancellation Thursday, according to a statement from Supervisor Scott Wiener’s office.

Pink Saturday, which fills the Castro the day before the LGBT parade, will be hosted this year by the San Francisco LGBT Center, which will receive funds from The City, the statement said.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, who normally host the event, had said in February that Pink Saturday would be canceled this year because violence at the celebration in recent years had made it a challenge to keep going.

“Pink Saturday has been increasingly difficult to produce in recent years,” Sister Selma Soul said in a statement at the time. “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.”

After that announcement, Wiener said he would work with The City to find a different host.

Now the LGBT Center, a nonprofit that serves the local LGBT community, will take the reins.

“I can’t thank the SF LGBT Center and the Mayor’s Office enough for stepping up to make sure Pink Saturday continues this year,” said Wiener, who is openly gay and represents the Castro. “This is such an important event for our community, and I look forward to working closely with the center to bring everyone together for this great celebration and to make sure it’s a safe event that celebrates Pride.”

Mayor Ed Lee and LGBT Center chief Rebecca Rolfe praised the outcome and effort to keep Pink Saturday alive.

“The center is honored to continue the Pink Saturday traditions established by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence — traditions that bring our diverse community together in a celebration of LGBT culture and Pride,” said Rolfe. “For many people, particularly many young people, this party is an affordable, accessible opportunity to honor the importance of being our authentic selves and to connect with LGBT people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds.”

As far as safety concerns, the center and The City pledged to beef up security and end the event earlier than in year’s past, perhaps by 8 p.m. The statement said the latter decision was born out of community input at meetings held to address the recent challenges of hosting Pink Saturday.Bay Area NewsneighborhoodsPink SaturdaySan Francisoc Pride ParadeScott Wiener

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