Livermore Pride will be celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month this October with a series of diverse, community-based events with the goal of fostering queer connection and education.
The nonprofit group operates with the mission to celebrate queer culture and history in the region. In contrast to previous years where a singular event was hosted, the organization will be presenting a variety of different public activities to celebrate the 2022 LGBTQ+ History Month.
Organizers of the activities hope to encourage citizens to foster new friendships and form relations in the Tri-Valley queer community with the new event series format.
"Although we will always love a good festival, and may go back to that one day, right now seems like the perfect time to move towards more intimate community-building," Jodi Mikel, board member and event coordinator for Livermore Pride, said in a statement. "The LGBTQ+ community is as diverse as any other. With the wide range of events, we have something for everyone to enjoy."
Organizers say the events are aimed to support local businesses while also helping to educate residents on LGBTQ+ identity.
"Small businesses are community leaders who are vital to creating and maintaining a sense of welcome that allows us to all thrive," said Amy Lehman-Sexton, interim board secretary for Pride.
She emphasized the importance of having local shops as partners and being present at the festival, "when small businesses partner to host these events, that's an action telling all of us -- especially our young people -- that our community leaders are here to support them."
The fourth annual Livermore Pride Festival will take on a different look this year with its series of events, including a farmers market takeover, bike ride, and movie night -- just to name a few. All events are free to attend, while some do require registration.
"As an event organizer, I'm excited to attend things as a guest," said Livermore City Councilmember Brittni Kiick, a board member of Pride. "(Smaller events) allows us to try out some different things to see what we may want to replicate on a monthly basis."
Kiick continued, "I am personally looking forward to events that we are partnering with other non-profits for. SPARC Theater is a nonprofit that is hosting a reading of the LGBTQ+ Young Adult Novel 'Like it or not' by Amy G Dahlia, a local author."
Livermore Pride staff recognize the lack of resources in the Tri-Valley specially designed for queer people.
"The closest spaces explicitly serving the LGBTQ+ community are an hour plus drive in any direction," nonprofit leaders said to the Weekly.
Organizers have put an emphasis on the educational elements of each public activity.
"In terms of history, every single event has a tie-in," organizers said. "We will be educating about the history of the Pride Flag, as well as the history of using community art as education."
More information about the Livermore Pride organization and event series can be found at the official website, LivermorePride.org.
The 2022 Livermore Pride Festival lineup
Oct. 2, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Ranger-led hike at Lake Del Valle with East Bay Regional Park District.
Oct. 3-31, 1-2 p.m.: Weave Our Community Pride Flag at Civic Center Public Library.
Oct. 7, 6-7:30 p.m.: SPARC Like It or Not book reading and signing with author Amy G. Dalia.
Oct. 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Pride Bike Ride with AJ's Bike Shop.
Oct. 9, 9-11a.m.: Pups and Pride Dog Park Meetup.
Oct. 10, 6-7:30 p.m.: Paint Night at Rincon Public Library.
Oct. 11, 4-6 p.m.: "The Science of Rainbows" at Springtown Public Library.
Oct. 14, 9:15-11:15 p.m: Film Night -- "Beetlejuice" -- at Vine Cinema & Alehouse.
Oct. 15, 6:30-9 p.m.: Drag and Vino at Big White House Winery.
Oct. 15, 3-4:30 p.m.: Pops on the Green with Livermore-Amador Symphony.
Oct. 16, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: "Thirsty Sunday" Farmers Market Takeover, featuring Sip with Pride.
Oct. 20, 7-9 p.m.: Paint Night at Pinot's Palette.
Oct. 21, 6-10 p.m.: Queer mixer and music with The Tory Teasley Band at Blacksmith Square.
Oct. 22, 12-10 p.m.: Pride on the Square -- live music with Swirl and Tap 25 at Blacksmith Square.
Oct. 23, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Drag Brunch at Blacksmith Square.