By Jean Lee
The Oakland Pride Festival returns to Oakland for its fifth year this Sunday, with the city’s first LGBT Pride Parade also added to the event’s festivities.
The parade helps celebrate the festival’s five-year anniversary, according to Oakland Pride board member Carlos Uribe.
“As a board we decided to move forward with the parade,” Uribe said. “Last year we did a community survey just asking them, ‘What more do you want to see?’ Overwhelmingly, people were very much in favor of the parade.”
Starting at 10:30 a.m., the parade begins at 14th Street and Broadway and goes up to the festival’s main entrance at 20th Street and Broadway. The festival begins at 11 a.m. and goes on until 7 p.m.; admission is $10, and $5 for children under 12.
Festival-goers have a chance to catch numerous performances across four stages, each with different themes: the Pride (Main) Stage, the Womyn’s Stage, the Latin Stage and the White Horse Stage. Grammy award-nominated artist Sheila E — best known for her collaboration with Prince on “Erotic City” — will be the festival’s headliner and will perform at the Pride Stage, along with being the celebrity grand marshal for the parade.
Other festival activities include a Family and Children’s Garden, where LGBT parents and caregivers can take part in specially designated activities — like face-painting and a petting zoo — with their kids. It’ll be located at the Union Bank parking lot, on Franklin and 20th Streets.
According to Uribe, the festival is about “bringing folks more of what they’ve come to love from Oakland Pride: a safe, family-friendly environment.”
Sponsors this year include companies like Tesla Motors and Pandora, along with longtime supporters like PG&E and the City of Oakland. Support also comes from Assembly members Rob Bonta and Nancy Skinner.
The Oakland Pride team has been moving over the past year to make the event “more Oakland.” “We’re encouraging local vendors and local community groups to be a part of Oakland pride — and to bridge any kind of gap that would be between various groups in Oakland,” said Uribe.
The Official Pride After-Party will be at Club 21 from 7 p.m. to midnight. It is an 18+ event and costs $10 at the gate.
Also happening this week is the 2014 Revolve Fest, a seven-day Oakland event featuring LGBTQIA-related art, music and film with each day carrying a different theme. Its final day is Saturday, so make sure to check it out before it ends.