SAN DIEGO (CNS) - About 200,000 people are expected to at this weekend's annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Parade and festival in Balboa Park, which kicks off Saturday morning with a parade.
At 11 a.m., the typically showy parade is set to step off at University Avenue and Normal Street. The route goes along University Avenue in Hillcrest, turns south down Sixth Avenue and finishes in Balboa Park.
For the first time, a group of active-duty military members will take part in the parade in full uniform.
In 2011 after the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was rescinded, military personnel who participated wore T-shirts signifying their branch of the military. On Thursday, the Pentagon announced that participants could wear their uniforms under the condition that military standards of appearance are maintained.
Comic Sandra Bernhard is the headliner on the first day of the entertainment schedule. On Sunday, the slate will be capped by British singer Natasha Bedingfield -- who is straight but has a LGBT fan base.
Pride Weekend festivities began Friday with the raising of a rainbow flag. The banner is waving over Hillcrest, the center of San Diego's LGBT community.
The City Council not only approved the new 65-foot flagpole, but also renamed a two-block roadway in Hillcrest Harvey Milk Street in honor of the slain gay rights leader.
The theme of this year's event is "America's Pride: Equality is an American Value."