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A poster shows a loosely drawn rainbow above clouds and under planets. The word Richmond Rainbow Pride 2024 are written across it.

For 10th anniversary, Richmond Rainbow Pride adds a parade to the celebration

on May 30, 2024

Richmond’s first-ever Pride Parade will take place on Sunday, packing a lot of fun and entertainment into a three-block route.

The parade, organized by Richmond Rainbow Pride, will kick off at 11 a.m. at Nicholl Park and make its way to Civic Center Plaza, where a festival will run until 3 p.m. The community is invited to enjoy food, live music and a celebration of Richmond’s diversity. 

Richmond council member Cesar Zepeda, who was instrumental in forming Richmond Rainbow Pride and is its former president, will lead the parade, which will be entirely on foot — no vehicles.

Electric violinist Kippy Marks will headline the event, which features eight other performers from the Bay Area. Festival-goers also can enjoy performances by drag queens Mojo Carter, Summer Lynn Spears, and Themme, among others.  About 30 vendors are participating, including Tacos El Chino and The Factory Bar, which will be making mocktails.

Richmond Rainbow Pride has organized “Pride in the Park” events every year since 2014 on the first Sunday in June. The group is hoping the 10th anniversary parade attracts an even larger crowd. 

“We thought, coming back from the pandemic, we want to put this right in the center of the city, and we want to make sure it is accessible to as many people as possible,” said Richmond Rainbow Pride Co-Chair Jamin Pursell. 

The Richmond City Council on Tuesday proclaimed June as Pride Month to honor the “invaluable cultural, social, and economic contributions of LGBTQI+ individuals to our community.” The city also is providing some financial support and services, Pursell said.

Council member Soheila Bana said the celebration is not just about the LGBT community. “They have already had the courage to come out of the closet and then face society with everything and participate in the Pride event. I think it’s also about the rest of us,” she said. 

Richmond Rainbow Pride is still looking for volunteers and vendors, and set up a sign-up sheet for those interested. 

Richmond Rainbow Pride came together 10 years ago after the 2014 election cycle, when then-council member Jovanka Beckles was attacked for being an open and out member of the LGBT community. A group of Richmond residents united to support Beckles and stand tall. The effort culminated in the city’s first pride festival in 2015.

“We have worked to make sure that we grow within the community a greater respect for the diversity within the city of Richmond,” Pursell said. 


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