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News Briefs: Castro Valley Pride is Saturday

by Cynthia Laird

Castro Valley Pride organizer Billy Ray Bradford speaks at the 2016 event. Photo: Courtesy YouTube
Castro Valley Pride organizer Billy Ray Bradford speaks at the 2016 event. Photo: Courtesy YouTube  

The eighth annual Castro Valley Pride festival will be held Saturday, July 14, from noon to 5 p.m. at Castro Valley High School, 19501 Redwood Road.

Organizers said that the community-oriented grassroots festival is a place where all are welcome, and where people can be themselves and enjoy friends and family.

"We think it's important for our community to understand that our families are the same as theirs, and that we live right alongside them in Castro Valley and many other small East Bay communities," Billy Ray Bradford, a founding member of the Pride festival, said in a news release.

The afternoon will feature games, booths, food trucks, performers, and speakers.

Bradford, a gay man, said there will be some new things this year. Drag revue the House of FAB is coming from Fresno, he told the Bay Area Reporter in a Facebook message.

"I'm told they are great," he added.

There will also be family karaoke live on the stage, next to the kids' space.

In a news release, Bradford said there will be 10 faith groups at Pride, along with 70 vendor and community booths.

Organizers are putting together a trans space. And there will be some panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt near the main stage, Bradford said.

There is no admission to the festival, which is an alcohol- and nudity-free event. For more information, see the Castro Valley Pride 2018 Facebook page ( For sponsorship opportunities or to donate, visit

Historical society open house
The GLBT Historical Society will hold an open house at its archives Saturday, July 14, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 989 Market Street, lower level, in San Francisco.

"The Historical Society Archives: Behind the Scenes" will offer members of the public a tour, including a rare opportunity to visit the archival reserve normally accessible only to the society's staff. Joanna Black, director of archives and special collections, will provide an introduction to the holdings and the function of the archives.

Visitors also will have a chance to see scarce objects, artwork, and documents that have never been displayed publicly.

Guided tours will take place at 11:30 and 12:30. Light refreshments will be served.

Interested people need to RSVP online by July 13. To sign up and receive free tickets, visit

San Leandro to honor LGBT seniors
The city of San Leandro will issue a proclamation acknowledging the contributions to the community by Lavender Seniors of the East Bay Monday, July 16, at 7 p.m. during a regular meeting of the City Council at City Hall, 900 East 14th Street.

The recognition is also in celebration of LGBTQ Pride season.

The meeting, to be held in the council chambers, is open to the public.

Community forum at San Mateo Pride center
The San Mateo County Pride Center will hold a community forum Wednesday, July 18, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 1021 South El Camino Real in San Mateo.

Organizers encourage people to bring their ideas for what they would like to see at the community center. The town hall is a chance for people to share feedback, comments, and concerns.

There is no cost to attend. For more information, visit

Dolores Garden Club returns
After taking a break for San Francisco Pride, the Dolores Park Garden Club, organized by Dolores Park Works, returns Thursday, July 19, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Volunteers will assist Recreation and Park Department gardeners in restoring and maintaining the park's flower beds. People of all ages are welcome and should meet at the entrance to the children's playground. RSVP to

CA seeks next poet laureate
The California Arts Council has announced it is seeking nominations for the state's next poet laureate.

The role of the poet laureate is to spread the art of poetry from classrooms to boardrooms across the state, to inspire an emerging generation of literary artists, and to educate Californians about the many poets and authors who have influenced the state through creative literary expression.

The poet laureate provides public readings in urban and rural areas; educates civic and state leaders about the value of poetry and creative expression; and undertakes a significant cultural project, with one of its goals being to bring poetry to students who might otherwise have little opportunity to be exposed.

The poet laureate serves a two-year term upon state Senate confirmation, and may serve up to two terms.

The state's current poet laureate is Dana Gioia, who has served since his appointment by Governor Jerry Brown in 2015 and his confirmation in 2016.

The California Arts Council manages the poet laureate nomination process for the governor, in accordance with the law. After a call to the public for nominations, applications are reviewed and evaluated by a panel of experienced state poets. Three finalists are sent to the governor's office for additional vetting.

The deadline to submit nominations is July 25. Poets may self-nominate or be nominated by experts in the field of literature.

For more information, including the application, visit

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