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News Briefs: Final SOMA 2nd Sat. event coming up

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Vendor Alexander Prestia shows off some of his pillows and T-shirts for sale at the July 10 SOMA Second Saturdays event. Photo: Brandon Roberts
Vendor Alexander Prestia shows off some of his pillows and T-shirts for sale at the July 10 SOMA Second Saturdays event. Photo: Brandon Roberts  

The final opportunity this season for people to stroll around South of Market and look for cool items will be October 9, when the last SOMA Second Saturday event of 2021 takes place from noon to 5 p.m. on 12th Street between Eagle Plaza and Folsom Street.

Organized by the Leather & LGBTQ Cultural District, Folsom Street Events, and the SOMA West Community Benefit District, the monthly bazaars proved popular for shoppers and merchants alike.

The afternoon event includes some of the finest queer and kink artists, artisans, and craftspeople, a news release stated. The series, which started in May, has been a welcoming space for the leather and kink communities as San Francisco has reopened amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In May, as it became safe to hold outdoor events, our three organizations partnered to provide the community with a safe and fun event to gather with friends old and new," stated Cal Callahan, a gay man who is manager of the Leather & LGBTQ Cultural District. "We also wanted to provide artists and craftspeople a venue to sell their work after a long shelter-in-place, and to bring revenue to local businesses that had been so severely impacted by the pandemic."

Callahan said the Second Saturdays have been "an incredible success" and stated that another series of programs and events are expected during the winter months.

None of the booths will be serving refreshments, but the Eagle, at 12th and Harrison streets, will be serving drinks. The longtime leather and LGBTQ bar moved one step closer to city landmark status this week after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors gave its preliminary approval. (Because the landmarking legislation is an ordinance, the supervisors will take a second and final vote October 19. See the Political Notebook column.)

At the DNA Lounge, DJ Cip Cipriano will be on deck, and people can dine at the Willows and Manora's Thai at Folsom and 12th streets.

The release stated that COVID safety protocols will be enforced, and it is a non-smoking event. Staff, volunteers, and vendors will be wearing masks and organizers strongly encourage attendees to do the same.

Pride center to hold coming out panel
The San Mateo County Pride Center will join with several other Peninsula LGBTQ groups to hold a virtual panel in observance of National Coming Out Day Tuesday, October 12, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Other participants include the San Mateo County LGBTQ Commission, San Mateo County Pride Initiative, and Coast Pride. (National Coming Out Day is October 11, but the Pride center and other organizations will be closed that day in observance of Indigenous Peoples' Day, a news release noted.)

The panel will include Kai Doran, Ana Paula Garay, and Cameron Zeller, who will share their coming out stories and ways to create safe coming out spaces at work, home, and school. Kiku Johnson, executive director of the Rainbow Community Center in Concord, will moderate.

The event is free, but registration is required and can be made here.

Livermore Pride will be in-person
Organizers of Livermore Pride have announced that the event will be in-person this year, taking place Saturday, October 16, from noon to 5 p.m. at Carnegie Park, 2155 Third Street.

The performance schedule includes Cheer-SF, the LGBTQ-focused spirit squad; a drag show with Charity Kase and Ava LaShay and friends; a pooch parade to compete for the title of "Proudest Pup;" and several other local performing artists.

A news release stated that the festival will feature food and drink options from local vendors and dozens of LGBTQ-owned and allied small businesses selling their Pride-themed or aligned wares and services. There will be a crafts zone, lawn games, and an area showcasing local nonprofits, groups, and community services.

"We are thrilled to be able to bring our community together for a day of celebration and camaraderie. Ending isolation is one of our core tenets, and supporting our community with this annual festival is one of the best ways we can do that right now," stated Amy Rose, the executive director of Livermore Pride.

The festival is part of a full weekend of activities. Local entrepreneur Nadia Breiz will host an 18 and over business event, Fortune's Follies, Friday, October 15, and her popular Match Maker's Market Sunday, October 17 (also at Carnegie Park).

Festival organizers ask that all attendees be fully vaccinated against COVID (if able), maintain physical distancing, and wear masks unless eating or drinking, even with the event being held outdoors.

This will be the third annual Livermore Pride event, though last year's was held online due to the pandemic. All ages are welcome to attend the free event. For tickets, click here. For information on the Follies event, where tickets start at $75, click here.

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