OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland Pride and Pridefest Oakland have joined forces to create a sponsorship of strength and respect at this year's pride celebration. This year's Oakland Pridefest event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 10 - so save the date!
"Pridefest is important to Oakland because it's just one more reason that really celebrates our diversity, our social justice movement that we've been known for so many years," said Peter Gamez, the President and CEO of Visit Oakland.
"It's just a time to celebrate how far we've come, but then also reflect on how much there is to go," said Joshua Hyunh, the owner of Town Bar & Lounge.
Oakland Pridefest is a celebration that's unique to the town featuring a parade, festival with local vendors, live music, and more.
"It was my honor to found Pridefest a couple of years ago during the pandemic when other celebrations weren't happening, of how we could pull our community together in a safe way, and in a very celebratory way," said Sean Sullivan, Co-Owner of The Port Bar and Fluid 510.
Downtown Oakland is bustling with activity and visitors can check out new additions to downtown Oakland and uptown Oakland.
"In the last couple of years, we've had new bars and restaurants open just like Fluid 510," said Richard Fuentes, Co-Owner of The Port Bar and Fluid 510.
"There's a great Renaissance going on in Downtown Oakland, especially Broadway Street. As I tell so many of my friends, it's diversity, but also inclusion," said Gamez. "We have our bars, lounges, and actually retail stops opening up around Broadway that are drawing people in and our LGBTQ+ community is so proud of what's going on in the town."
Each year, Visit Oakland honors an advocate that stands as a pillar for the town 365 days a year. This year's 2023 PRIDE HONORS recipient is Fern Stroud, the Founder of Black Vines and LGBTQIA+ champion.
"I've been blessed with the unique ability to build relationships, to connect, to bridge gaps," said Stroud. "When you're able to do that, especially in a space in place of Pride, you're helping folks who don't always have a voice, you're helping folks who aren't always able to amplify their voice."