Sonoma County Pride


The older I get, the more I enjoy smaller. Prides. They seem to be one of the big trends right now too – beyond the big cities, we are gradually seeing many smaller communities hosting their own home-grown Pride events.  Sonoma County Pride was like a cross between a small-town July 4th parade and a mini-Mardi Gras.  

De and I headed out early for the two-and-a-half hour drive from Auburn to Santa Rosa.   Parking was easy, just a couple of blocks from the venue.  We got a little bit of rain sprinkles just before the parade started, but then it stopped.  It turned out to be slightly overcast and really perfect not-too-hot or not-too-cool Goldilock conditions.

Parade & Festival

If you’ve been to San Francisco or even Sacramento’s pride parades, you know they can be long.  Very long.  Miles even.  This parade was only a couple of blocks through Santa Rosa’s cute little downtown area.  Lots of local organizations, politicians, queers with dogs and children.  And lotsa, lotsa color! 

The one-day festival was held on the very compact Old Courthouse Square, right next to the main drag (pun intended).  They had just one main stage (more planned next year) and a very enthusiastic audience of dancers and the like.  The lineup included the very fabulous Rock M. Sakura, from the 12th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, SF Cheer, the Ensamble Foclorico Colibri, the talented Ellie James, a couple of awesome DJ’s and wonderful jazz/pop singer Spencer Day (the “gayer John Mayer” and “less iconic Henry Connick”).  

What I liked

Notably, there was significant Latinx participation, and they are one of the two largest demographic groups in the area.  Organizers say they have worked to try to get the community engaged and connected with the event.  The Ensamble Folklórico Colibrí was the main Latinx group participant and they are so colorful and fun.  They talked about not wanting to change their traditions, but add their stories to them.  Beautiful.

For me, it was particularly meaningful to see so much joy and love in all the hugs and non-social-distancing after the past couple of years.  There’s always lots of fun and good humor at these events.  This year, my first Pride event struck me as just a little more poignant.

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Thank you for reading my blog post “Sonoma County Pride: A Homegrown Fiesta!” To learn more about me and my work, please see my About page.

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