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Pride season starts soon

by compiled by Cynthia Laird

AmBi, a bisexual social group, marched in the 2015<br>Sacramento Pride parade. Photo: Courtesy amBi
AmBi, a bisexual social group, marched in the 2015
Sacramento Pride parade. Photo: Courtesy amBi  

June is fast approaching and that means the advent of Pride season. While San Francisco's mammoth LGBT Pride parade and celebration close out the month, several cities across northern California will offer parades, festivals, or both.



Richmond Rainbow Pride will hold its third annual Pride event Sunday, June 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Marina Bay Park. This year's theme is "Rise Up Together."


"In these difficult and challenging times, when our communities are being attacked all over the country, it is important to unite as one, regardless of your ethnicity, gender, religion, or who you love, and rise up together," Cesar Zepeda, president of Richmond Rainbow Pride, said in a news release.


The family-friendly event will include entertainment and is open to everyone. Admission is free.


For more information, visit .



In the North Bay, Sonoma County Pride will celebrate its 30th year next weekend. An LGBTQI solidarity rally will be held Saturday, June 3 from 1 to 4 p.m. in Guerneville. The theme of the event is "Rise Up," because the community is being asked to stand up for LGBTQI rights, as well as rights for women and immigrants, voting rights, and racial and economic equality.


Fifteen speakers will address a wide range of issues and motivate the crowd to educate themselves. Some of those scheduled to deliver remarks include lesbian Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch, Positive Images Executive Director Javier River-Rosales, and trans activist Mandi Camille Hauwert.


The next day, Sunday, June 4, will be the Pride parade, which starts at 11 a.m. in downtown Guerneville. This year's grand marshals include Greg Sarris, a gay man who's chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria; county Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, a straight ally; and trans activist Aydian Dowling, who was featured on the cover of Men's Health.


A Unity and Pride Festival will follow the parade at the Guerneville Lodge and will include entertainment and exhibitors.


Other Pride events include a concert Friday night, June 2 at Graton Casino featuring "The Voice" contestant Billy Gilman and Steve Grand; and "Shorts at the River" film festival Saturday at the Rio Theater in Monte Rio.


There is no cost to attend the rally or parade. A $5 donation is requested for the festival. For ticketed events and more information, visit .


Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Pride will hold its annual Pride parade and festival Sunday, June 4. This year's theme is "We Are Indivisible." Organizers said in a Facebook message that the theme reflects their view that the community will not be divided or defeated in the move toward civil rights and will not be deterred from "celebrating our authentic selves."


The parade steps off at 11 a.m. at Pacific Avenue and Church Street in downtown Santa Cruz.


The festival follows from noon to 4 p.m. at the Pride Festival grounds, located between Cathcart, Cedar, and Lincoln streets. It will feature food trucks, entertainment, and a kid's space.


Admission to the festival is free, though a $5 donation is requested. It is an alcohol- and smoke-free event. (Alcohol will be available from participating businesses near the festival site.)


For more information, visit or the "Santa Cruz Pride" Facebook page.



Sacramento Pride takes place Saturday, June 3. The parade starts at 11 a.m. at Third and N streets. Grand marshals include gay City Councilman Steve Hansen and Tina Reynolds.


The Pride festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Capitol Mall between Third and Seventh streets. Admission is $10; children 10 and under are free.


The festival will feature high-energy live music, a dance pavilion, a kid's zone, food trucks, and local vendors.


For more information, visit .


San Mateo

The fifth annual San Mateo County Pride celebration will be held Saturday, June 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at San Mateo Central Park, 50 E. Fifth Avenue.


This year's theme is "Still We Rise."


The festival will celebrate and recognize the LGBTQ community through entertainment, education, and fun.


There will be food trucks, booths, and live entertainment.


The event is free. For more information, see the Facebook page at .


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