Now in its 31st year, Sacramento Pride is a daylong celebration of LGBT history and culture and an annual commemoration of the Stonewall Riots in New York City in June 1969, a series of demonstrations that launched the modern LGBT civil rights movement. Today, Pride festivals and parades are held throughout the world during the month of June and at other times of the year.
Sacramento Pride Festival, Saturday, June 6, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Capitol Mall
Some 15,000 visitors from throughout Northern California are expected to attend the all-day festival, which will feature scores of exhibitors, live entertainment, shaded Dance Pavilion, the sounds of DJ Rivers sponsored by HP, the Bud Light Build-A-Bar and more.
Belinda Carlisle, solo recording artist and former lead singer for famed all-girl band The Go-Go’s, will headline the Festival Main Stage.
The Inside Scoop: Carlisle’s son, James Duke Mason, plans to catch his mom’s act while he’s in town serving as Special Guest Grand Marshal of the Pride Parade. Mason, 23, is a leading activist for LGBT equal rights and a budding politician. At age 19, he was named one of The Advocate Magazine’s 40-Under-40; he marched in his first Pride Parade as a representative of the 2012 Obama presidential campaign; and he recently ran for election to the West Hollywood City Council.
Other highlights of the Pride Main Stage will include hip-hop artist Cazwell, who became an overnight YouTube sensation with his abs-revealing “Ice Cream Truck” music video; Sacramento songwriter and recording artist Raquela, whose new dance record project, “OMG, I Just Keep On Dancin’,” is scheduled for Sept. 9 at San Francisco’s Edge Bar; Sacramento singer-songwriter Andrew Castro, who recently released his new EP album “Inside/Out; and two favorites from “RuPaul’s Drag Race”: Jujubee from Season 2, and Kennedy Davenport, who made it to the Final 4 before being eliminated in the LOGO show’s current season.
The Inside Scoop: Looking for family-friendly fun? Check out the Kids Zone, sponsored by Sierra Forever Families and UC Davis Health System, featuring face painting, fake tattoo art, LGBT-friendly coloring, the bubble zone, and a reading of the children’s book, “Tale of Two Mommies” by a member of a local Girl Scout troupe. Or take a stroll through the Art Zone, sponsored by Crocker Art Museum, featuring the work of local artists.
And don’t miss the Pet Pavilion, sponsored by Lasher Subaru Elk Grove, featuring adoptable animals from Front Street Animal Shelter, and participating businesses Grateful Dog Daycare, Lucky Buddy Pet Care and VCA Animal Hospital.
The Inside Scoop: Animals from Front Street Animal Shelter will be available on the day of the Festival only for adoption to good homes, with Lasher Subaru picking up the adoption fees.
Festival tickets are $10, available at the gate or online at SacramentoPride.org.
Sacramento Pride Parade, Saturday, June 6, 11 a.m.
The Sacramento Pride Parade will step off at 11 a.m. from the intersection of N and 3rd streets, continuing down N Street and ending at 10th and N. Parade emcee extraordinaire Roy Gilmore will once again be commentating live at the parade grandstand for the fifth year running.
The Inside Scoop: Roy’s day job is hair stylist at Strands Salon & Spa in Sacramento, but a few years ago, he branched out into radio and television. He has been named a “fashion expert” by KCRA 3 and News10, but his real passion is being behind the chair, making people pretty.
Community Grand Marshals, elected via social media by popular vote, are Ben and Rachael Hudson, cofounders and leaders of the non-profit Gender Health Center, which provides therapy and resources focused on transgender people.
Belinda Carlisle’s son, James Duke Mason, will have his own gig in the parade as Special Guest Grand Marshal. Mason says he hopes his appearance will inspire LGBT youth to get involved in LGBT causes and political leadership.
Free to the public, the parade, sponsored in part by The Neillo Company, will feature floats, marching contingents, bands, performers, cheerleaders and more.
The Inside Scoop: Plan to come early and enjoy special Pride mimosas on the Hyatt-Regency patio before meandering over to N Street to watch the parade.
Sacramento Pride is produced by the Sacramento LGBT Community Center, and proceeds from the event help support Center programs and peer support for at-risk LGBT and questioning youth, seniors and adults; a Girl Scout Rainbow Troop; HIV education and testing; a free weekly legal clinic, and more. The Center is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information, visit http://saccenter.org/.