SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It was a very busy Saturday in Sacramento with a series of big events around town.
Things kicked off at the Capital Mall Saturday morning for the 34th annual Sacramento Pride Parade, which organizers called a “party with a purpose.”
Thousands came out to honor the community and to recognize their hard work in the fight for equality, as people marched with banners promoting equal rights and solidarity.
Allison Vankuiken, the program director of Equality California, said the message of unity was especially directed at younger member of the LGBTQ community.“They are welcomed, they are loved. And they have a place to go. And a place to be,” said Vankuiken.
“They are welcomed, they are loved. And they have a place to go. And a place to be,” said Vankuiken.
Among those who marched was Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.
“We march to reaffirm our commitment to equality for the LGBTQ community and all people. And, we march to recommit to engaging in the fight because the work is never done,” he said.
Some say there was a cloud over this year’s Rainbow Flag, the symbol of the LGBTQ community, as President Trump refused to proclaim June as Pride Month, which organizers says has had an impact on this year’s event.
“The rhetoric coming out of Washington right now is really toxic, and we what want to promote here is tolerance and acceptance. We want to show that Sacramento is a welcoming community,” explained Patrick Harbison, Sacramento LGBT Community Center board member.
The parade was followed by a huge block party at the Capital Mall, attended by thousands, out to enjoy live music, food stalls and art.
A few blocks away at Cesar Chavez Plaza, hundreds came out for another annual tradition: Grand Tasting. It brings together local vineyards and restaurants to showcase their respective wines and food.
Micah Kemp, from Fair Oaks, says he has been coming for years. “
I always try something new that I haven’t had before. I like talking to the different vendors, seeing where they are. They are mostly like Amador County and local wineries. It’s fantastic!” he said.
And as sunset fell over the state capital, about 100 or so people gathered at the steps of the California State Capitol for the March For Truth, an event that was held in over 130 cities around the U.S. and in some European cities. They are calling for an independent, bipartisan commission into President Trump’s alleged ties with Russia.
Mart Hanna, one of the local organizers, is encouraged at how political the Sacramento region has become and believes the message is being heard in Washington.
“It remains to be seen exactly how, but I definitely think it is. I think we’ve made a huge difference. I really do. And we will continue to,” she said.