The Valentine's Nude Love Parade, San Francisco 2016-02-13
About a quarter to 12:00 noon Gypsy Taub's group showed up with posters and started the usual set-up on Jane Warner Plaza in the Castro district. A police sergeant showed up and checked Gypsy's permit, and then the rapidly gathering spectators and parade participants listened to the speeches and proclamations for the next half hour, all in good sunny weather.
Around 12:25 pm preparations began for the parade. First the nudes gathered close to the stage, and then group pictures were taken and the nudes counted. At that point 34 nudes were present, of which more than half a dozen were nude women. As in the past it usually only started out with 2-3 women and the rest men, so this was an improvement, quite possibly as a result of the police permit.
By 12:52pm the actual march started, with police cruisers and motorcycles in front and behind making sure the marchers could pass cross streets on the long way down Market Street and across to City Hall. More people had joined the march in the last moment, some dressed, some semi-nude, and they chanted various songs and promotional ditties. Lots of spectators cheered them on, from the sidewalks, from buses, etc., and took endless pictures of the nudes with their cell phone cameras.
It was 1:48pm when the group arrived at City Hall. There were too many marchers to pose for group shots right in front of the City Hall steps, and that side of the street was also in deep shadows. So they walked across the street to the plaza, and after just a few shots of the group with the City Hall in dark background, better sense made the group turn around 180 degrees, and now we got better exposed images. A few more people undressed here, obviously some for the first time, and all went well.
Actually, time had run out on the permit, and by 2:05pm the marchers with their police escorts took off for Jane Warner Plaza. It was 2:45pm before the high spirited group was back where they began, then socialized a bit, dressed up, and finally dispersed around 3pm. The five police cruisers and motorcycles had been very helpful and polite, and it was obvious that the official permit eliminated any disputes with the police, so a nice atmosphere permeated the parade group.
Leif Heilberg, Narch 2016.