We reported in July that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were debating whether or not they would continue to organize and host Pink Saturday festivities in the Castro or if they would turn the event back over to the City to run, with a possible recommendation to cancel the event all together. The future of the event came into question after one of the Sisters was attacked in broad day light at the corner of 18th and Castro during the party this year in addition to a perceived uptick in violence the past several years by members of the community.
In July's post, we spoke with Sister Selma Soul, the Sister who had been organizing the event for the past 3 years. She mentioned that before any decision is made, the Sisters wanted to speak with the San Francisco Police Department and Supervisor Scott Wiener about possible solutions to save the once fun, friendly, and safe community event.
The Sisters have met with Sup. Wiener and the SFPD and are now opening the dialogue to the whole community. The Sisters, Sup. Wiener, and the SFPD will be on site at the Eureka Valley Recreation Center (100 Collingwood Street) next Wednesday, September 10th, at 6PM and are inviting the community to come and discuss the future of Pink Saturday.
Some members of the community want to see the event shut down. Many members of the community want to try and find a way to save it. When asked about what he thought of canceling Pink Saturday altogether, Sup. Wiener said, "Pink Saturday is a very important event for our community. As a city we need to work to find a way to make this event successful, and not just rush to cancel it." This years Pink Saturday raised $90,000 alone in donations which were distributed to non-profits and other community organizations and applied to event costs. One commenter, DerekSF wrote, "We already lost Halloween. Pride also had it shares of violence. Do we shut down Pride as well? If we close every event because of a few bad apples, that just makes us cowards."
If you have an opinion about how the Sisters can make the event safer and save Pink Saturday or if you want to let the Sisters know you think it should be cancelled, mark your calendars and show up to the event next Wednesday.
To get your idea juices flowing for ways to save the event, here are some of the ideas floated so far:
- Start the event earlier and end the event earlier (right after the Dyke March to sunset)
- Increase SFPD and private security presence
- Have various booths or possibly food trucks in the street to break up the crowd (something similar was tried in 2012)
- Hold it a week before and only advertise locally
- Change the venue to GG Park or Dolores (post-construction, of course)
Any more ideas? Let us know in the comments and come out to the event next Wednesday!