Oakland Pride returns and parties hard despite the heat, puts COVID-19 pandemic in the past

Tara Campbell Image
Monday, September 5, 2022
Oakland Pride parties despite heat, puts pandemic in the past
Oakland Pride returned after a two-year hiatus and partied hard, despite the heat, putting the COVID-19 pandemic in the past

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland Pride made its comeback Sunday after being sidelined for two years by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's absolutely awesome. It's full of people. There's a lot of Latinx people, and I'm Latina, so I'm super excited to be here," Manuela Guevara said.

"It feels great," said Natali Gutierrez. "It's been a rough time with the pandemic, just being locked down. Being with the community, it's very liberating."

The sun beat down in Oakland Sunday, but the extreme heat didn't stop the music.

"It was hot today, but you know, it doesn't matter because I just want to be part of the community," said Paco Flores. "I feel like this is amazing. It's great to have great pride again in Oakland because I'm part of the community. You know, I live here in Oakland, and I feel like I'm an Oakland person."

RELATED: Silicon Valley Pride: Thousands celebrate LGBTQ+ community at festival, parade in San Jose

April Edwell and her wife were among the event-goers soaking it in.

"It feels really good to be in person and feel connected," said Edwell. "I can't get my kids to have this vibe or feeling in any other way. We read books. We have a book about pride, but it's totally different being here in person."

Alameda County Public Health was also there with the monkeypox vaccine, administering roughly 450 of 1,200 doses by the early evening.

Tara Campbell: "You're thinking about getting the monkeypox vaccine?"

Paco Flores: "Absolutely. Absolutely, yeah. One-hundred percent I want to do it."

RELATED: PHOTOS: San Francisco Pride Parade and Celebration 2022

From the morning's parade to the afternoon partying, the sights, sounds and smells were drawing people in.

Tara Campbell: "What brought you here to Pride today?

Ame Jean, Santa Cruz resident: "My friends. They tell me it's really cool and I'm so happy. This is amazing."

It was an "amazing" day for the vendors too, who were happy to be back in business.

"We were bound to online orders and now we can try it on. They look, 'oh, my gosh. I can actually take this home right now,' direct to consumer in their hands right here, and that's important to us," said Stoney Love, founder & CEO of Stuzo Clothing.

"It was a major success in many ways, monetarily, soul-wise, energy-wise. I mean, the sun is shining on us. What more could you ask for?"

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