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    Oakland Pride All Week Long for the Parade and Festival’s 10th Year

    Northern California’s second largest pride parade and festival is Oakland Pride, which this year will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary! The event has grown tremendously since it was first celebrated as “East Bay Pride” from 1997 to 2004. It is now a major event that includes more than six city blocks of music plus art, food, and fun. Boasting four separate entertainment stages, Oakland Pride welcomes talent from the Bay Area and beyond.

    As of this writing the complete lineup has yet to be announced, but headliners will include Purple Madness (Prince tribute), Ava LaShay as emcee, Shea Diamond and El Dasa, The family-friendly event will also feature Our Family & Children’s play area—the perfect place to enjoy the day with the little ones and to network with other LGBTQI families.

    Pride All Week Long

    Related events are already underway, with the Oakland Pride Arts + Film Fest and other happenings having begun on September 1. On the publication date of this paper, September 5, Spectrum Queer Media and Frameline are presenting A Luv Tale–a romantic comedy about the relationship between four queer, bi and lesbian women–at the beautiful and cozy Landmark Piedmont Theater in Oakland. The theater is just a few doors down from Fenton’s Creamery. For more information about Spectrum Queer Media, go to: https://www.spectrumqueermedia.com/

    Work off the popcorn and Fenton’s fare at the free annual Oakland Pride 5K Fun Run and Wellness Expo on Saturday, September 7. Registration and check-in, plus welcome and introduction, start at 7 am, followed by a warm-up and stretch session with Radically Fit and a DJ. The Health & Wellness Expo will open at 8 am ahead of the Run/Walk at 8:30 am. Awards will be handed out at 10 am.

    But that’s not all! At 11 am there will be a Queer Slam and then, at Noon, a 2×2 dance competition. You will want to stay because at 1 pm there will be the Annual Pride in the Park Ball, with cash prizes and judges from the award-winning houses. https://bit.ly/2jZnDwM

    Given that it is the 10th Anniversary of Oakland Pride, this year there will also be a big Pre-Pride Block Party on September 7 from 6 pm to 12 am on Franklin Street between 21st and 22nd. The event will be free! For more info: https://bit.ly/2kqzVyh

    Wake up early the next day for Pride pancakes and bottomless mimosas served up at Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza. Sausage, eggs and other drinks will also be served. Tickets are needed for this event: https://bit.ly/2kqMn0X

    Parade and Festival

    Last but certainly not least is the actual Parade and Festival on September 8 from 11 am to 7 pm on Franklin Street. Be sure to look for the San Francisco Bay Times and “Betty’s List” table there and say hello! We are proud to have been involved with this event from the beginning, even going back to the days of “Out in Oakland” in 2005 and 2006. Thanks go to the efforts then of former Oakland City Councilmember Danny Wan and the LGBT Roundtable.

    In 2008, Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan—now also a San Francisco Bay Times columnist—and others led efforts to re-organize the LGBT Roundtable in Oakland. Since then, members of the Roundtable and the LGBT community decided that it was time to resuscitate Oakland Pride for the long term and advocate for LGBT rights and interests, including the development of the first LGBTQ community center in Oakland for everyone: https://www.oaklandlgbtqcenter.org/

    After the renewal of this effort, Oakland Pride has been busy networking with allies and partners. The organization’s goal is to create a vibrant and viable organization worthy of the LGBT community in the East Bay. Oakland Pride wants to be of assistance in providing a sustainable solution to implement or support needed services for challenges in the community—especially in low-income, multi-cultural elder and young LGBT communities.

    Oakland Pride is collaborating with a host of organizations that help our community and include Our Family Coalition, Lavender Seniors of the East Bay, Pacific Center, East Bay AIDS Advocacy Foundation and many other organizations that represent the breadth and depth of LGBT people throughout Oakland and the entire Bay Area.

    To learn more, visit https://oaklandpride.org/