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CA Pride events kick off

by Cynthia Laird

Sonoma County Pride returns to Santa Rosa with this weekend's parade and festival. Photo: Courtesy Sonoma County Pride
Sonoma County Pride returns to Santa Rosa with this weekend's parade and festival. Photo: Courtesy Sonoma County Pride  

June is Pride Month and several cities in the region will hold festivals, parades, or both in the coming weeks.

New this year is the return of Sonoma County Pride to Santa Rosa. As reported a few months ago, organizers made the switch to centrally located Santa Rosa due to dwindling attendance at the event while it was in Guerneville.

Under the theme, "Together We Rise," the 31st annual Pride will be held June 1-3, mostly at the Old Courthouse Square. The parade will take place at noon Saturday, June 2, beginning at Freedom Park, and will end at the square for the festival, which ends at 8 p.m.

Sunday's main attraction will be the OutWatch LGBT Film Festival at the Third Street Cinema.

For queer youth, LGBTQ Connection of Sonoma County will offer several events, including a contingent in the parade. Other activities are scheduled throughout June.

For more information about Sonoma Pride, visit https://www.sonomacountypride.org/. For more on LGBTQ Connection, visit https://www.lgbtqconnection.org/#hometop.

As for Guerneville, it will have its own Russian River Pride event August 24-26.

Concord
The Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County will hold a Pride festival Saturday, June 2, from 3 to 9 p.m. at Todos Santos Plaza, 2175 Willow Pass Road.

Organizers said there will be exhibitors, food trucks, beer and wine vendors, and community-based organizations and businesses in support of the LGBTQ community. Entertainment will be provided by local bands, comedians, Cheer SF, and local performers.

An after-party will be held at Club 1220, 1220 Pine Street in Walnut Creek.
"We are excited to be hosting Concord Pride this June," RCC board President Ken Carlson said in a news release.

He added that the rainbow flag will be raised at Concord City Hall June 1.

For more information, visit https://www.visitconcordca.com/events/concord-pride-lgbtq-pride-celebration/.

Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz will hold its annual Pride parade and festival Sunday, June 3. The parade begins at 11 a.m. at Pacific Avenue and Church Street. It ends at Cathcart and Cedar streets.

The festival is at the end of the parade route and goes until 4 p.m. Admission is free, but a $5 donation is suggested. It is an alcohol- and tobacco-free event.

Entertainment includes Momma's Boyz, Cheer SF, Dark Rose Cabaret, and many other performers.

For more information, visit http://www.santacruzpride.org.

Richmond
Richmond Rainbow Pride will be held Sunday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Marina Park, at Regatta Boulevard and Marina Bay Parkway.

This year's theme is "Many Stories, Many Strengths" and it is a family-friendly event.
For more information, visit https://www.richmondrainbowpride.org/family-day.

Sacramento
The capital city will hold its Pride parade and march and festival Sunday, June 10.

The parade and march starts at 11 a.m. at Third and N streets; it ends at 10th and N streets. The festival takes place on the Capitol Mall, between Third and Seventh streets, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission to the festival is $10, kids 10 and under are free.

Festival entertainment includes Martha Wash, Mayhem Miller, and Planet Booty. Equality California, the state's LGBT advocacy group, will also be participating and people are welcome to join its parade contingent or stop by its booth.

For more information about Sacramento Pride, visit https://sacramentopride.org/. To join EQCA, visit http://action.eqca.org/sac-pride-2018.

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