Sonoma County Pride Announces Calendar of Events as We Celebrate COMMUNITY!
Sonoma County Pride may have moved around the county – Windsor, Santa Rosa, Guerneville, Santa Rosa again – but for 38 years one of the United States’ largest (per capita) LGBTQI+ population has celebrated COMMUNITY!, which is why the word that means so much to our county’s far-flung queer residents was chosen as 2023’s theme.
Sonoma County Pride kicks off with the raising of the Pride Flag on top of the Rosenberg Building in the heart of Santa Rosa Thursday, June 1. Gilbert Baker’s original 1978 design has evolved over these many years to become more inclusive as it serves as a beacon to all who identify as LGBTQI+.
Friday, June 2, bring your low-back lawn chairs, order dinner from an area restaurant, and enjoy a free outdoor screening of The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, at Courthouse Square. The event is hosted by beloved film critic Jan Wahl. The Pride Bar opens 6 p.m.; movie starts at 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 3 will keep revelers entertained and engaged all day long, starting at 11 a.m. with the Sonoma County Pride Parade celebrating our connectedness and delighting in our diversity. This year’s Grand Marshal Kate Kendal for 22 years was at the helm of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Pride named as Honorees: Santa Rosa Mayor Natalie Rogers, Educational leader Laurie Fong, Sonoma County Library, and OUTwatch – Wine Country’s LGBTQI+ Film Festival.
The Parade leads to Courthouse Square for the fabulous Pride Festival with live performances by Vassy, Spencer Ludwig, Shake It Booty Band; spins by DJ John Parker and DJ Jimmy Hits; performances by Cheer SF and the afternoon’s Drag Host Lolita Hernandez. Nearly 100 exhibitors; artists; food vendors; local, state, and national organizations will offer something for everyone.
Pride, Santa Rosa Gaydar and Flamingo Resort & Spa host “Boogie Nights,” a dazzling After Party with Lolita Hernandez and her drag sisters Aubrey D O’night, Deja More, and Billie Jean Queen. Boogie down with beats by DJ Lady Char and Luke Dice at the Studio 54 Lounge. Doors Open at 9 p.m. $20 Cover. 21 & up. Proceeds benefit Sonoma County Pride.
Sunday, June 4 get woke for Graton Resort & Casino’s & Sonoma County Pride’s 2nd Annual ‘Wigs and Waffles’ Pride Brunch, 10:30 a.m. at Graton’s 630 Park Steakhouse. Enjoy delicious food, delirious fun, and dazzling drag by host Mrs. Princess Panocha with Mary Vice and Kochina Rude. Tickets are $85.
The party continues with ‘Aqua Boogie’ on Graton’s Pool Deck 1 – 6 p.m. with pitch-perfect performances by Kiesza, Mo Heart and Crystal Waters, DJ grooves by Joe Gauthreaux and others, and fun in the sun. Admission is $35 and up.
Come out for the best in queer cinema June 9 -11 for OUTwatch – Wine Country’s LGBTQI+ Film Festival at Rialto Cinemas in Sebastopol and enjoy five incredible films that are heating up this year’s sizzling festival circuit. Tickets are $15.
For information about these and other Sonoma County Pride events, go to: www.sonomacountypride.org.