San Diego Pride Weekend starts Friday - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego Pride Weekend starts Friday

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The 40th annual Spirit of Stonewall Rally and third annual Pride of Hillcrest Block Party are scheduled for this evening as San Diego Pride Weekend kicks into high gear.

Actress and LGBT advocate Laverne Cox, best known for her role as Sophia Burset in the Netflix series "Orange Is the New Black," is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the rally. The block party will raise funds for the Hillcrest pride flag.

"We have come a far distance as a community, and that is the reason why we ought to celebrate this," said City Council President Todd Gloria, who is openly gay. "We as San Diegans have always led on this issue."

The weekend will feature the annual Pride Parade along University Avenue Saturday morning, along with the Pride Festival in Balboa Park.

The parade, which organizers expect will attract up to 300,000 spectators, is set for 11 a.m. Saturday. It steps off at University Avenue and Normal Street, proceeds west on University Avenue to Sixth Avenue, turns south on Sixth Avenue, and ends at Balboa Drive and Upas Street.

Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, the first lesbian to lead the Legislature's lower chamber, will be the grand marshal.

The two-day festival begins at noon Saturday with multiple performance stages, vendor booths, beverage gardens and a youth zone.

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