Oakland Pride’s mission has been to celebrate the cultures and diversity of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community in Oakland and the East Bay in gay California. It all started with the East Bay Pride, celebrated in Oakland from 1997 to 2004. Led by the efforts of former Oakland City Councilmember Danny Wan and the Oakland Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Roundtable, “Oakland Out In Oakland,” commenced with a celebration of LGBT life in 2005 and 2006. Pride had not taken place in Oakland since that time.
In 2008, Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan and others led efforts to re-organize an LGBT Roundtable in the City of Oakland and resuscitate Oakland Pride for the long term. Since 2008, Oakland’s LGBTQ+ community has celebrated Pride on the first weekend in September with a parade and a holiday weekend’s-worth of festivities all around town.
Due to financial difficulties and the effects of the pandemic, Oakland Pride has had to drastically scale back its activities in 2020 and 2021, when it was canceled on short notice. Stepping in to fill the void, a half dozen of Oakland’s BIPOC business & nonprofit leaders created a second Pride celebration for the city: Pridefest Oakland takes place on 20th Street & Broadway and is scheduled on the second Sunday in September to avoid clashing with Oakland Pride. In 2022, it expanded in its second year to include three music stages, food, and other local vendors.
In 2023, Oakland Pride and Pridefest Oakland are set to happen during the same September weekend.
Oakland Pride PARADE and FESTIVAL are open to people of all ages. Oakland Pride has been reported as the country's most diverse and family-friendly PRIDE. A Family & Children's Garden within the FESTIVAL focuses on providing a fun and safe area for children and their parents/guardians with free programs and activities. All children must be accompanied by adults at all times.
There's a general admission to the Oakland Pride FESTIVAL and NO FEE to watch Oakland Pride PARADE (except in VIP/Grandstand* seating along the Parade route). Money from the admissions helps pay the bills, from the stages, performers, fencing, port-a-potties, sound, security guards, Police Officers, and everything in between. Likewise, the Children's admission helps cover the cost of the Family & Children's Garden so families may enjoy all of the many activities at NO additional charge. Part of admissions goes toward Oakland Pride's Community Partners Program, through which Oakland Pride has been able to give back nearly $50,000 to LGBTQ+-friendly organizations and charities in the community since 2010.
BART is the best way to get to the Oakland Pride event! FESTIVAL's main entrance is at Broadway & 20th Street, right outside the BART station exit. Exit at 12th St/Oakland City Center or 19th St Station to watch the PARADE.
Oakland Pride has headlining performers each year on the Main/Pride Stage. Some past performers included Chaka Khan, Martha Wash, Jennifer Holliday, Yo-Yo, Rah Digga, LaToya London, CeCe Peniston, JC Jones, and En Vogue.