Santa Cruz Pride kicks off with a loaded weekend of festivities

From a drag story time Friday to the 48th annual parade Sunday on Pacific Avenue, the celebration of Santa Cruz’s LGBTQ+ community will be in full swing this weekend.

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The organizers of Santa Cruz Pride have put together a jam-packed weekend of activities around town stretching from Friday to Sunday, most of which are free and open to the public.

It all begins Friday afternoon with an activity that, in the context of the political times, has become an unlikely defiant act of resistance, “Drag Storytime,” at the Childish gift shop on Pacific Avenue. Can you believe that we’ve arrived at a moment when half the country thinks drag queens reading stories to children is the great moral evil of our time? I must say I didn’t have that on my 2023 bingo card. Is outlawing rainbows next?

The traditional Dyke/Trans March takes place Saturday at 4:20 p.m. (of course!), followed by a big drag show at Santa Cruz High School. Sunday is the big day, with the Pride Parade taking place at 11 a.m. on Pacific Avenue (Santa Cruz was one of the first cities in the U.S. back in the ’70s to do a Pride parade). That’s followed by a big festival at Abbott Square, the “Deep End”pool party at Hotel Paradox, and several other activities. Happy Pride!

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