Pride Month Celebrations in California

(The Podium gratefully acknowledges for their significant contributions to this article)

Looking for places to celebrate Pride Month? You can find festivities in just about every part of California.  See the list below for some of the more notable events.

Sacramento Pride

Every year, more than 20,000 visitors descend on Sacramento for the city’s two-day SacPride. On June 10–11, the Capitol Mall transforms into a buzzing entertainment zone with food vendors and musical performances from stars like Rebecca Black as well as local talent. On Sunday, honor the 1969 Stonewall Riots at the Pride March. Watch colorful floats and musical acts make their way from Southside Park to the State Capitol—or pre-register to join the march yourself.

Sonoma County Pride

The 38th annual Sonoma County Pride theme is “Community” to honor the power of diversity and belonging. On June 1, the city raises its flag to kick off the festivities, which run from June 2–4. Centered in Santa Rosa, the three days of fun include a Pride Movie Night, the annual Pride Parade, Wigs and Waffles Drag Brunch, and Aqua Boogie Pool Party. Keep the good times going with Out Watch Wine Country’s LGBTQI Film Festival (June 9–11) in Sebastopol, as well as special winemaker dinners and tours, all part of Out in the Vineyard Gay Wine Weekend, July 14–16.

San Francisco Bay Area Pride

San Francisco Pride made “Looking Back and Moving Forward” the 2023 theme for this massive annual festival on June 24–25. Head to Civic Center Plaza to see live concerts, comedy acts, and cabaret performances on the main stage, and take part in Sunday’s Pride Parade, which starts near the Embarcadero and ends on the steps of City Hall. Admire the annual Pink Triangle installed on Twin Peaks commemorating the LGBTQ+ victims of the Holocaust.

Explore more events throughout the Bay Area, including the stunning Ribbons of Remembrance rainbow flag display at Filoli in Woodside on June 3–4; the popular Fresh Meat Festival, featuring trans and queer artists performing in different corners of the 13,000-square-foot Z Space in the Mission from June 14–18; and Frameline47: The San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, running from June 14–24. Sausalito is also hosting its first Pride celebration June 9–July 2, which includes Pride Not Prejudice, an exhibit that will celebrate queer culture through a collection of vintage photographs, as well as reliquaries and film, at the Sausalito Center for the Arts. Also planned is an outdoor concert with Banda Sin Nombre, a group that combines folk music with performance art, drag, and dance.

Central Coast Pride

Get the party early in San Luis Obispo with events throughout the month of May—including Art After Dark on May 5 at SLOMA and the Trans Pride on May 27 in Meadow Park—all culminating in a colorful three-day celebration on the first weekend of June. At Central Coast Pride, June 2–4, you’ll find a Friday Burlesque & Drag Show at the Fremont Theatre, plenty of music and fun on the main stage at Saturday’s Pridefest, and even more performances at the Pride Parade and Pride in the Plaza, both held on Sunday.

Los Angeles County Pride

Los Angeles was the first city in the world to host a permitted gay pride parade, and you can experience history in action with the 53rd annual event on June 9–10. See music icons Megan Thee Stallion (Friday) and Mariah Carey (Saturday) perform at Pride in the Park in Los Angeles State Historic Park, or watch 145,000 or so revelers dance on fabulous floats down Hollywood Boulevard during the parade.

In West Hollywood, attend WeHo Pride on June 2–4 for a street fair and music festival OUTLOUD with performances from Grace Jones and Carly Rae Jepsen. The WeHo Pride Arts Festival also runs through the entire month, featuring a book bazaar, a craft market, a drag parade, and screenings by LGBTQ+ filmmakers.

Catalina Island Pride Month

From Dana Point, Newport Beach, Long Beach, or San Pedro, you can hop across the water to stunning Catalina Island for Catalina Pride on June 24. Head to Avalon for live entertainment on the Wrigley Stage, the Pride March to Casino Point, and a rainbow lighting of the historic Catalina Casino.

Orange County Pride

Orange County has long been a premier destination for LGBTQ+ tourism, and that’s never more true than during OC Pride on June 25, held in downtown Santa Ana. Watch world-class performances and drag shows from stars like Mexican singer Ninel Conde and Morgan Michaels from Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Disney fans won’t want to miss a nearby celebration held in Anaheim. For the first time ever, Disneyland Park will host Disneyland After Dark: Pride Nite. On June 13 and 15 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., guests can enjoy special after-hours access and entertainment. Get your groove on at the Rivers of America Dance Party, watch Minnie Mouse march during the Pride Cavalcade, and try a variety of fun-themed eats.

Fresno Pride

This year, Fresno’s June 3 Rainbow Pride event has been dubbed the “Qu33r All Year” festival in recognition of its 33rd anniversary. The family-friendly parade of floats from more than 90 participating businesses and organizations begins at 10 a.m., and a $5 donation at the gate grants you access to live music, more than 100 vendors of food and merchandise, a beer garden, a children’s play area and more.

Santa Ynez Valley Pride

Santa Ynez Valley is kicking off its inaugural SYV Pride Month celebration at Future Perfect Wine in Los Olivos on June 1. The fun continues with a Sip n’ Slay wine tasting on June 2 at Carhartt, weekly “Gayroake” each Thursday at The Maverick Saloon in Santa Ynez, a Tie-Dye Pride-a-Palooza with Arts Outreach, and more. The main event is a parade in downtown Solvang on Saturday, June 24—floats, families, roller skates, and puppies are all welcome—followed by a party in Solvang Park. Unwind at the Silent Disco on June 30 at St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley.

Palm Springs, Laguna Beach, Oakland, and San Diego—Later in 2023

In California, Pride is celebrated in spirit all year round—and some cities have full-blown festivities outside of June. San Diego Pride is planning a slate of events July 8–16, including the women-centered She Fest, Pride 5K, Spirit of Stonewall Rally, and a thrilling two-day festival in Balboa Park.

Laguna Beach will party on the sand August 12–13 with a dedication of the new Rainbow Lifeguard Tower of Diversity, while Oakland will host a parade as well as its family-friendly Carnival and Fun Fair September 9–10. Greater Palm Springs Pride will hold celebrations November 3–5. Listen to DJs spin at the Arenas District Block Party and watch the iconic Pride Parade and Festival along Palm Canyon Drive.

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