OCEANSIDE — The ninth annual Pride by the Beach festival will open Oct. 8, with an over-the-top first act that includes motorcycles, music and inspiring speeches. The Pride festival is an upbeat event that welcomes everyone “as is” and celebrates the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) community out loud.
“Pride by the Beach is a fun-filled, family-oriented street fair, and offers reassurance to all of us that it’s OK to be yourself,” Oceanside Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery said.
The festival takes place on two blocks of Pier View Way east of Coast Highway 101, with the main stage located outside the Oceanside Museum of Art.
Live family-friendly entertainment takes place every hour. The lineup includes vocalist Celeste Barbier, indie band The Social Animal and drag performer Miss Jackie Beat.
The festival is a hub of activities. An outdoor teen lounge and kids zone will be set up at the Civic Center Plaza.
On-site self-dense classes will be given in front of the City Hall east building.
There will also be an interactive Orlando, Fla., memorial tribute project, which will provide a space for people to write their thoughts and condolences over the hate crime that killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in June. The tribute will be sent to Orlando after the festival.
Food, nonprofit and vendor booths will line two blocks of Pier View Way.
The North County LGBTQ Resource Center information table will be among the 85-plus booths. It will share contacts for LGBTQ support programs and sensitivity training.
This year MiraCosta College students will display an informational timeline of national Pride events, beginning with the first parade march in 1969 and why it was held.
There will also be a voter registration booth to sign up residents for the November election.
In opening remarks Sister Unity, a human rights activist and member of the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, will speak about the importance of Pride gatherings, and encourage everyone to live freely and be themselves proudly.
Following her speech Lowery will talk about the importance of inclusion and ongoing LGBTQ sensitivity training.
“I plan to let the public know how involved our city government is in providing a safe and compassionate environment for our LGBTQ community members,” Lowery said. “Each of us must be compassionate and supportive of anyone struggling to find their personal identity.”
Downtown businesses will show their support for the LGBTQ community by displaying rainbow flags on Saturday.
The first year Pride flags were flown 15 businesses took part. This year more than 30 businesses have already pledged to hang flags.
“It’s exciting to see local businesses take a position of support by displaying the rainbow flag,” Lowery said. “Actions like that, though insignificant to some, make me proud to be from Oceanside and to serve the community as a member of the City Council.”
The Pride event is sponsored by the North County LGBTQ Resource Center and Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Event proceeds help support the regional Project Youth program.
Pride by the Beach takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 8.