Organizers from Sonoma County Pride raised the rainbow flag today on top of the Rosenberg building in downtown Santa Rosa. This kick-off to Pride month was extra special, after in-person events, like the annual parade, were done virtually last year.
"I think this year's pride is so much more important than a lot of other prides in some ways," Grace Villafuerte, Sonoma County Pride's Vice President and Volunteer Coordinator, said. "For a lot of people who have been in isolation they've been asking us all year, when can we come together. So it's this feeling of comfort when we can come together."
Starting today, rainbow flags are flying in various cities throughout the county and cities like Healdsburg are showing solidarity for the first time this year. The theme of Pride 2021 is "Beyond the Rainbow - Thriving, Reviving and Surviving."
The annual parade will resume as a Wizard of Oz themed, drive-through on June 5th at the Graton Resort and Casino in Rohnert Park. And as California emerges this month from pandemic lockdown, a hybrid of weekly virtual and in-person gatherings are planned throughout the month. Including an ongoing virtual scavenger hunt.
Sonoma County Pride’s Christopher Kren-Mora said the organization has been planning this year's festivities for almost a year.
"It will be a nice collection of diversity this year in events, as well as people, I think we will see a lot more people come out now that mask and COVID regulations are slowly being released," Kren-Mora said.