By Selena Lu
The Oakland Pride Parade marched on September 8 from City Hall to the Oakland Pride Festival Main Entrance in celebration of the LGBT community.
The parade had floats, a marching band, and performances. Along with the parade, the festival had entertainment on the four stages set up, companies and organizations with booths, food and drinks, music, and activities and games.
“I saw a lot of colors,” said senior Chuyi Fang who volunteered at a booth, face painting kids. Fang said “there were lots of people” and “smoke everywhere.” She particularly remembered the “rainbow costumes” people wore.
Fang thought that “it makes sense for [the parade] to happen in Oakland” because “Oakland is really diverse and open towards different identities of people.” Of the children that came, she thought it “better for kids to be open minded at a young age.”
The parade was originally known as East Bay Pride and it was celebrated in Oakland from 1997 to 2004. After a gap of six years, Oakland Pride came back in 2010 and has been going on annually since then.
“Since the renewal of this effort, Oakland Pride has been busy networking with allies and partners,” says the Oakland Pride website. “Our goal is to create a vibrant and viable organization worthy of the LGBT community in the East Bay.”
Oakland Pride usually happens in late August or Early September on a Sunday. The money from the $5 -10 admission fee will be used to pay the cost of making the festival and paying the personnel. Part of the fee will also go to Oakland Pride’s Community Partners Program which gives the money to services involved with the lgbtq+ communities, seniors, youth, bullying, housing advocacy, animal welfare/rights, people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, or homelessness.
This year’s parade was expected to attract 1,500 families. Though no actual number exists to how many people did go, it seems to be around the thousand. “It’s nice to know people supported it,” says senior Jenny Nguyen.
Oakland High’s BuildOn and Key Club both sent volunteers to the festival. O-High’s Pride Club was unable to attend this year. In past years, the club has went and participated in the march.