How to Celebrate Pride Month in Sonoma County

The most colorful time of the year is almost here. This Pride Month, following two years of subdued celebrations due to the pandemic, Sonoma County residents are getting ready to don their rainbow garb and spread the love at in-person events and festivals.

Sparked by the 1969 Stonewall uprising in Manhattan and the first Pride march in New York City in June the following year, LGBTQ pride celebrations have long been held in June across the United States to recognize the impact and plight of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals.

Sonoma County has its own unique LGBTQ history. While there has long been a prominent LGBTQ community in the county, it took years — and several failed attempts — for activists to finally get supervisors to recognize Pride week in May 1992.

Today, pride flags fly high and LGBTQ life is celebrated year-round in Sonoma County, not just in June. But, in true Sonoma County fashion, there are of course some special events planned to honor the month this year.

Here’s what the county has in store for this year’s Pride Month.

Gary Farrell Kick Off to Pride Month, May 22

Healdsburg’s Gary Farrell Winery will host a kick-off party for Pride Month starting at noon on Sunday at Region wine bar in The Barlow. The event will include live music, special guests and a wine flight. A portion of the proceeds from wine purchases and tasting flights will be donated to the local nonprofit Face to Face, which focuses on ending HIV in Sonoma County. Tickets are $40 per person and can be reserved on Resy.

Region at The Barlow, 180 Morris St., Suite 170, Sebastopol, 707-329-6724, drinkregion.com

Sonoma County Pride Parade and Festival, June 1-5

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Sonoma County Pride will hold its 35th annual Sonoma County Pride Parade and Festival in downtown Santa Rosa on June 4, with other special pride events happening throughout the week. The theme of this year’s Sonoma County Pride celebration is “We Are Family” to salute the connectedness of the community.

The organization will kick off Pride Month with a Pride Flag Raising on top of the Rosenberg Building at 11 am Wednesday, June 1 on the corner of Mendocino Avenue and Fourth Street

Sonoma County Pride and sponsors will host its Pride Movie Night with a free showing of the romantic comedy-drama “Love, Simon” starting at 6 pm Thursday, June 2 in Santa Rosa’s Old Courthouse Square.

From 4-8 pm on June 3, there will be a free Pride Happy Hour in Old Courthouse Square, featuring DJ Rotten Robbie and performances by singer-songwriter-guitarist Melissa Levi and modern jazz singer Spencer Day.

The Pride Parade will run along Fourth Street in Santa Rosa from 11 am to noon on June 4, with the festival kicking off at noon and continuing until 5 pm in Old Courthouse Square. Brent Farris and Debbie Abrams of KZST will be the parade’s masters of ceremonies and Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider will be the grand marshal. Honors include Sonoma County LGBTQ historian Tina Dungan, owner of the LGBTQ tour and event company Out In The Vineyard Gary Saperstein, Healdsburg Mayor Osvaldo “Ozzy” Jimenez and Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Rogers. Parade floats and performances will be judged by a panel and awards will be presented on the Festival Stage at 2 pm The entertainment lineup, exhibitors and vendors are to be announced.

Local LGBTQ social networking group Santa Rosa GayDar will host a Reunion Queer Dance Party from 9 pm to 1 am June 4 at La Rosa Tequileria & Grille on Fourth Street. A drag show will begin at 10:30 pm featuring hosts and drag queens Lolita Hernandez, Maria Twampson and Shania Twampson, with DJ Ron Reeser. The party and show is for adults 21 and up. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on EventBrite.

A Wigs & Waffles Drag Bunch will be held from 9:30 am on June 5 in the 630 Park steakhouse at Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Par. A drag show will begin at 11:30 am with DJ host Juanita MORE! and performances by Rahni NothingMore, Mary Vice and Princess Panocha. Tickets are $85 and can be purchased on EventBrite.

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Rock M. Sakura will host a Pink Pool Party from 1-6 pm on June 5 at Graton Resort & Casino. Entertainment will be provided by DJs Lady Char, Hector Fonseca and Jimmy Hits, with special guest Natascha Bessez. General admission is $30, with other ticket options for poolside daybeds and cabanas with champagne, fruit plates and amenities packages. Tickets are available on EventBrite.

Sonoma County Pride, sonomacountypride.org

Capo Creek Winery Pride Celebration, June 4

Healdsburg’s Cāpo Creek Winery will host a pride celebration on its estate with wine, food and special drag performances from 1-4 pm on June 4. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased here.

7171 W. Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, 707-608-8448, capocreekranch.com

Pride Business Leadership Awards, June 15

North Bay Business Journal will host an awards show honoring LGBTQ+ business leaders in the North Bay from 4-6 pm on June 15 at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa. Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased on EventBrite.

Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Road, Santa Rosa, 707-546-3600

Windsor Pride Festival, June 25

People4Parks, the Windsor Parks and Recreation Foundation, will present Windsor’s first Pride Festival from 2-9 pm on Saturday, June 25 on the Town Green. The family-friendly festivities will include a designated kid zone, a street fair with plenty of food and drink, a community fair with resources featuring over 20 Bay Area nonprofits and live performances with headliners Wonderbread 5 and The Purple Ones. The festival is free and open to all. Find more info at lovewinsinwindsor.com.

Windsor Town Green, 701 McClelland Drive, Windsor

Pride Month at Sonoma County Library, June

In addition to having its BiblioBus stationed at the Sonoma County Pride festival from noon to 5 pm on June 4, the Sonoma County Library will be celebrating Pride Month with a handful of events and book clubs dedicated to LGBTQ history and pride throughout the month.

The library has been hosting a Virtual Pride Club for Teens all year from 5-6 pm on Tuesdays, which will continue through June to provide queer teens and allies a virtual space to discuss books and other media showcasing LGBTQ voices. Register for the free Virtual Pride Club for Teens meetings here.

The library also hosts a Queer Book Club for adults from 6-7 pm on the second Wednesday of the month. June’s book club will be held June 8 and cover the romance novel One Last Stop by New York Times bestselling author Casey McQuiston. Register for the free Queer Book Club meeting here.

As part of its weekly CreateTeen! crafting program for ages 12 and up, the Roseland Regional Library will celebrate Pride Month by hosting a Pride keychains and rainbow wall hangers workshop from 4-5 pm on June 10 and June 17. Snacks and all crafting materials will be provided for attendees. Register for the keychain-making event here and the wall hanger-making event here.

The library will close out Pride Month with an in-person presentation on the Sonoma County LGBTQI+ History Timeline. Local LGBTQ historians Tina Dungan and Shad Reinstein will hold an in-depth presentation on LGBTQ history in the North Bay followed by questions and discussion. The event is for teens and adults and will take place from 6-7 pm on June 29 at the Central Santa Rosa Library. Registration is not required, though encouraged. Register for the event here.

Sonoma County Library, sonomalibrary.org

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