News Briefs: Oakland Pride to have holiday bar crawl benefit

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday December 6, 2023
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Oakland Pride board member Valentino Carrillo, owner of Que Rico, an LGBTQ club in downtown Oakland, welcomes those who will stop by during the Oakland Pride holiday bar crawl benefit later this month. Photo: Cynthia Laird
Oakland Pride board member Valentino Carrillo, owner of Que Rico, an LGBTQ club in downtown Oakland, welcomes those who will stop by during the Oakland Pride holiday bar crawl benefit later this month. Photo: Cynthia Laird

Dust off those Santa hats and prepare to celebrate the season at Oakland Pride's Santa holiday bar crawl Saturday, December 23.

The event is a benefit for Oakland Pride, which this year joined with Pridefest Oakland for one Pride parade and festival that was a success, organizers said. One of the activities during the September Pride celebration was a bar crawl; people had such a good time at it that community leaders are bringing it back for the holidays.

Oakland Pride organizers said they are already working on the bar crawl for Pride 2024.

"We are also working on several smaller bar crawls throughout the year to help support Oakland Pride's operation budget and hope you will join us," noted the Pride committee.

The holiday-themed bar crawl starts at 3 p.m. at Town Bar and Lounge, 2001 Broadway. From there, the action moves to Fluid 510, 1544 Broadway at 4:30. Next, people will wander to the Feelmore Social Club next door at 1542 Broadway at 6 and then head over to Que Rico, 381 15th Street, at 7:30. The evening ends at Summer Bar and Lounge, 526 Eighth Street in Old Oakland, at 9.

Valentino Carrillo is the owner of Que Rico, as the Bay Area Reporter previously reported in an article published before the space opened in April 2021. He's also a board member of Oakland Pride.

"Que Rico is excited to join the other four bars in participating in Oakland Pride's Santa's Holiday Bar Crawl," he stated in an email. "The Pride Bar Crawl back in September was amazing with over 100 people, and we can't wait to do it again and invite everyone to experience Que Rico. This is the start of many more bar crawls to come and collaborations with the other LGBTQ bars in Oakland."

Tickets for the bar crawl start at $25 and include a wristband that will get attendees into each location during the bar crawl, as well as special discounted drinks and/or food, the announcement stated. Participation will be capped at 100 people, and attendees are encouraged to use ride share for transportation.

The bar crawl is for those 21 and older.

People are encouraged to wear their Santa hats.

To register, click here.

Project MORE marks 10 years

The Project MORE Foundation, which works to improve the quality of life for LGBTQ people in the South Bay, has two events coming up on the occasion of its 10th anniversary. One of the foundation's most popular initiatives is the Qmunity District, a collective of queer retail and nightlife businesses in downtown San Jose.

Friday, December 8, Project MORE will host Ice Queens, an evening of holiday performances at Downtown Ice, a temporary ice rink operating through the holidays at 120 South Market in the Circle of Palms Plaza in San Jose. People can skate before or after the shows (from 5 to 10 p.m.) There will be a meet and greet with drag performers at 7, and shows at 7:30 and 9.

The shows are free to attend. If people want to skate, they can purchase tickets at

On Saturday, December 9, Project MORE will hold its holiday celebration and anniversary party, from 8 to 11 p.m. at the Holiday Inn San Jose-Silicon Valley, 1350 North First Street in San Jose.

Qmunity Awards will be presented and there will be entertainment, hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, and mocktails. Scheduled to appear are Joey Jay, from season 13 of "RuPaul's Drag Race;" Gaia, Miss MonA Lot MooRe's Closet Ball 2023 winner; and Papi Churro, a two-spirit drag king.

Tickets are $50 general admission or $110 for VIP, which includes the founders' dinner. They can be purchased here.

Hanukkah party in South Bay

The Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center will host Havurah Q's Big Gay Hanukkah party Saturday, December 9, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the center, located at 938 The Alameda in downtown San Jose. The event will include latkes, dreidels, singing, games, and more. The party is for all ages and backgrounds, the center noted in its newsletter.

The event is free for volunteers and $18 for general admission. For tickets, click here.

San Mateo Pride center seeks youth

The San Mateo County Pride Center and Outlet, an LGBTQ youth organization in Santa Clara County, is seeking young people for the youth advisory board. Board members help plan, organize, and publicize youth programming in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Board members also provide input on services and resources for youth ages 14-25.

"Youth Advisory Board members help the LGBTQ+ community by getting their friends and peers involved, sharing information about upcoming events with friends, peers and teachers at school, as well as bringing input and suggestions from community members to help shape the direction of the youth program," an email announcement stated.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, January 17. To do so, click here.

Questions can be directed to Yossi (she/her/ella) at [email protected]

Outlet is a program of Adolescent Counseling Services.

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