Preps underway for San Francisco's Gay Pride weekend

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - The last minute scramble is on around San Francisco as Gay Pride weekend approaches.

The mood in the Castro is festive.

Pride weekend is great for business, and there's no business like putting on a big celebration.

On Thursday night at the Nourse Theater, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus rehearsed for this weekend's performances for pride festivities.

It hopes to inspire activism among their audience through music.

"They feel empowered. They feel special and they don't feel quite so different when they go to the workplace the next day," said Tim Seelig, the artistic director of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus.

Along the waterfront, the handiwork of float builders is taking shape.

"This is how you get the party started. Putting these floats together is a big part of the party," said Dalano Rhyne, an artist.

Thirty floats are being built with 15 truckloads of Styrofoam, 200 pounds of glitter, and 500 gallons of paint, to send a message about the LGBT community.

"It's more about people trying to change things and make equality the status quo," said Stephanie Mufson, the float builder.

In the Castro, street theater is very much alive.

A long line of people waited to attend a LGTB film festival.

Just steps from the theater, the Hot Cookie looks forward to the added business.

"It's very significant. It's like Black Friday in a way," said Haleemah Lewis, a manager with Hot Cookie. Pride weekend brings many out of town visitors.

"I flew in today for Pride from Los Angeles. I'm so excited. I can't wait for it to start. Pride starts Thursday," said Rhiannon Rozier.

It didn't take long for her to start spending, "I bought some accessories already, a rainbow belt, suspenders and a fun hat."

As for the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, it has marched in the pride parade every year since the group formed 37 years ago.

"It's just more important that we're out there and that we show people who we are and how important all of this is to us," said Seelig.

The transgender community will hold its rally and march Friday. It starts at Dolores Park.

The Castro promises to be very busy and crowded this weekend.