Thousands gather for 'family friendly' Oakland Pride festival

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The 9th annual Oakland Pride may be smaller and less well-known as San Francisco’s Pride in June, but it still drew thousands to Oakland’s downtown, because of its emphasis on family friendly events. 

“Often times we don’t find family friendly spaces for LGBT parents, so Oakland Pride has been able to work with Our Family Coalition and organizations that really centered on a need of people with children,” said parent and Our Family Coalition director Renata Moreira. 

Oakland’s Pride celebrated the culture and diversity of East Bay families with a parade on Broadway and a festival with a children’s garden that included a petting zoo, carnival rides, and crafts. Wells Fargo and Kaiser Permanente had floats, while dozens of organizations walked in the parade. 

Oakland’s Mayor Libby Schaaf was found riding what she calls her “official ride” – a steam punk mechanical snail that breathes fire. 

“We are so proud. We are so believing in love, inclusion, and diversity, and that’s what you see in space here,” said Mayor Schaaf, who wore a rainbow dress by Rockridge designer Lesley Evers.

The Oakland Fire Fighters Union made and served breakfast for the start of the festivities at City Hall. 

“We have firehouses in every corner of the city, in every neighborhood, and this is what we do,” said Union Vice President, Zach Unger. “We support people when we answer a 911 call and we also like supporting people in happier times at a big, fun event like this.”

The festivities ended a 7:00 pm. Because part of it being a family friendly event means recognizing it was still a school night.