Petaluma Pride gears up for 2nd annual celebration in honor of LGBT+ History Month
Get ready to celebrate Pride this weekend in Petaluma and Guerneville, where celebrations will take over Sonoma County’s river towns.
Petaluma Pride is back for a second year and promises to be a frightening good time, according to the organization’s website.
The weekend kicks off on Friday, Oct. 13 with a dance party at Flying Cloud Ranch from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $35, with proceeds benefiting Positive Images, the Santa Rosa-based nonprofit that provides a safe space for LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults throughout Sonoma County.
“Positive Images is out there lifting people up year round, providing support groups, trainings and leadership development,” said Josh Simmons, Vice President of Petaluma Pride. “It’s super complimentary to Petaluma Pride’s work, which is focused on being a cultural presence and bringing people together.”
On Saturday, Oct. 14, the organization will host a Pride Festival at Walnut Park from 12 to 5 p.m. Wear your dancing shoes: the Lee Vanderveer Band & Lauren Arrow, plus the Queerdo Parade will party the entire afternoon before the Pride March departs from the park at 5:15 p.m. The celebration continues throughout the evening with a gathering at Theatre Square until 7 p.m., followed by “Spellbound: A Drag and Burlesque Show” at the Big Easy at 8 p.m.
Finally, don’t miss brunch on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. the River Front Cafe with music by Ellie James.
Petaluma Pride, which is a smaller Pride organization within Sonoma County, chose to celebrate Pride in October, in honor of LGBT History Month. LGBT History Month celebrates the achievements of 31 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender icons and is coordinated by Equality Forum. The LGBT community is the only community worldwide that is not taught its history at home, in public schools or religious institutions, according to the Equality Forum. This lack of historical foundation is further exacerbated by constant attacks on the rights of LGBTQIA+ people.
“For many people in Sonoma County, we see news about increased violence and legislative attacks on queer and trans people and it’s too easy to think that’s an ‘elsewhere problem.’ But it’s not,” Simmons said. “It’s everyone, including here in our backyard. And the uptick in violence parallels attacks on other marginalized people -- against Black people, Indigenous people, against Jewish people, against women. It’s all connected and fear-based. Pride celebrations are an opportunity to come together to counter with joy and hope, the most powerful qualities of the human spirit.”