The East Bay Shows Some Early Pride
Sure, the San Francisco Pride festivities scheduled for the end of June are in a league of their own, drawing crowds of LGBTQ and allies from around the globe and that alone is an amazing thing to be part of. Oakland’s formal Pride weekend in September will give us all another shot to come together in a vibrant urban setting. But Pride is observed in different cities at different times, and with the plethora of family-friendly and not-so-friendly options available, this allows people to participate in any way they feel comfortable.
For members of the LGBTQ community, the growing number of Pride observances is a beautiful thing. People within that community don’t just live in San Francisco and Oakland, many are tucked into offshoots and suburbs that until recently were not considered the most open to open and out life. But times are changing and sleepy little cities in the East Bay are changing with them. As Pride is celebrated throughout the summer, it is nice to know that people don’t necessarily have to leave home to feel proud.
Here is a small list of a few Pride events happening in the East Bay this weekend.
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Concord, that big city with a small town vibe, will be opening arms to all those out in the open, and to all those not quite ready to go there. Friday, the Concord City Council will hold a ceremony as they raise the rainbow flag above City Hall. Pride on the Plaza, a party hosted by the Rainbow Community Center, will be held at the downtown Todos Santos Plaza to “celebrate community, diversity, and inclusiveness with members of the LGBTQ+ community and the Contra Costa County Community at-large.”
The family-friendly festivities run from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will include a DJ, grub, interactive vendors and booths, an area for kids and local officials on hand to show their support for all members of the community. You can pick up further details here.
The 5th Annual Richmond Pride! festival is popping off Sunday at Marina Bay Park with this year’s theme being, “Remembering History, Making History.” The day at the park will be packed with stage performances, food, booths and all the family-friendly love you’d expect from a Richmond park celebration.
A flag ceremony will be held at Richmond City Hall Friday at 10 a.m. to commemorate what the city refers to as Diversity Celebration Month. At that time, City Council will raise the Pride flag and for the first year ever, the Juneteenth flag will be raised alongside it.
Although the official Oakland Pride parade is scheduled for Sept. 8, the Oakland A’s are hosting a special Pride Night this Saturday at the Coliseum. Five dollars of every ticket sale for the 7 p.m. game against the Astros, ranging from $30 – $58, will be donated to the Oakland LGBT Center and every person who attends gets swagged with a nifty Pride Night fanny pack to take home.
Even further out east in Pleasanton, Characterz Cafe and Coffee Roaster will host the “Dripping with Pride” event Saturday night, where you can check out some amazing art and make some of your own under the guidance of Stephanie Chavez while you’re hopped up on some of their special Joe. The Pride paint night special will run you $40 and starts at 5 p.m. – more information can be found here.
Happy Pride, today and every day.