Attending SF Pride? Expect stepped-up security measures

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN)-- Security measures put in place at last year's Pride celebrations in San Francisco following the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando will remain in place this year.

Those attending the Pride Festival at the city's Civic Center on Saturday and Sunday should expect to be screened by walk-through metal detectors or handheld "wands" and be subject to searches of their persons and possession, according to police.

No bags larger than 18 by 18 inches will be allowed, and all bags are subject to search. There will be no storage lockers for oversized bags.

No outside alcohol will be allowed inside and possession of open containers or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on city streets. Inside the event area, alcohol will be available for purchase with
valid identification.

Police will step up the number of both uniformed and plainclothes officers at events throughout the weekend including Sunday's Parade, which starts at 10:30 a.m.

Shootings and other violent incidents have occurred during a number of past Pride celebrations, including a fatal shooting at the 2010 "Pink Saturday" event in the Castro District. That event was canceled last year due to security concerns and will not be returning this year.

Police this week advised those planning to attend festivities, to avoid accepting drinks from strangers or drinking and driving, to keep valuables with them rather than leaving them in the car and or elsewhere and
to stay with a group of friends when on the street or leaving bars and clubs.

Pride-goers are also strongly urged to take public transit to and from events wherever possible. Both Muni and Caltrain will provide additional service on Sunday for the parade.

For more information on security screening, check out the San Francisco Pride website