This past weekend, I attended San Diego Pride and came up with a list of things to prepare for.
1. Don't underestimate getting there early.
It's perfectly understandable that for big events such as Pride, people want to get there early. But here's the thing- EVERYONE is going early. So you have to go just a bit earlier. For example, on Saturday, the Pride Parade started at 11 a.m. We left at nearly 7:30 a.m. and got food before we finally sat down to stake out our spot for the parade around 9:45 a.m.
Just apply it. Over and over again. Trust me, I was already peeling badly from a beach day, had a tank, shirt, and cardigan on, and was still getting very warm and red even with three layers and sunscreen. Yes, you want to be cute, but getting skin cancer isn't worth it.
3. Fill your bag with food.
Snacks and water, those are constant things you are going to want to buy. Even if you are fine with the festival food, you're still getting dehydrated more and more by the minute when you are standing in the heat.
4. The lines.
They are almost always long and also almost always go by fairly quickly. Don't get discouraged, but also plan ahead and be smart. Get your ticket to the festival ahead of time.
Sometimes, at least for me, it is worth it to pay for parking. I usually always park in the hospital parking garage, and the parking fee varies every year, but I feel more comfortable when my car is there. The other options are finding a spot on the side of the street, where you have to pay hour by hour anyways, park in the parking lots on the corners (again, costs money) or farther away in another town and Ubering from there. The issue with the last option is that due to the heavy flow of traffic at the time, the Uber will almost always cost a lot of money.
6. Set aside your day.
Unless you absolutely have to, just set aside your entire day/weekend for Pride. I've had years where I also had to work, so I needed to balance my days around that. But this year, it was nice just going with the flow of everything. We hung out, ate or sat and relaxed when we got tired, went to the festival. It's always fun just kind of exploring the options when attending Pride.