OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Neena Joiner, who owns the bar Feelmore Social in downtown Oakland, is hyped about this weekend.
"I'm so excited about this weekend," Joiner said. "Normally, I am always marching in the parade. But now, for us, it's just a different vibe, a different feel."
That's because her bar, which just opened in April, is along the parade route. And is one of the featured spots in this weekend's Oakland Pride.
"Feelmore is involved in the bar crawl that is going to all of the LGBTQ-centered and/or owned bars in the area," Joiner said.
She has 30 volunteers who will be helping out. She even has a special drink menu for Pride weekend. One is beverage is named the "Naked Bird." It's non-alcoholic. Symbolic, she says, of being inclusive.
"Our parade route in Oakland is very short. But the work that we do is a long game. The long game is to create a city that really embodies safety for people, for people to be who they are," Joiner said.
Organizers say Oakland Pride is a celebration of the diversity of the LGBTQ+ communities of Oakland and the East Bay. The parade, which runs through downtown Oakland on Sunday, is the second largest of its kind in Northern California.
Oakland Pride is also about family. Children's Fairlyland amusement park near Lake Merritt will hold special family-friendly events on Saturday.
"I am most excited about kids and families walking through our door, and feeling welcomed here -- no matter their gender identity, sexual identity," said Morgan Rothenbaum, senior director of Marketing and Communications for Children's Fairyland.
Oakland City Councilmember at-large, Rebecca Kaplan, helped launch Oakland Pride in 2008. In a statement to ABC7 News, she writes in part: "We need to unite in this time of unprecedented attacks against our LGBTQ+ community. This event is a chance to show our pride, celebrate our progress, and come together to create a more inclusive and equitable future for all."
"I think everyone is thinking about the politics. I think the politics are really important to the people here in Oakland," Rothenbaum said. "We are an open community. And we want everyone to feel safe. Like I said earlier, no matter what the gender, no matter what your sexuality is, I think it's really important that we stay true to that."
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