Less than three weeks after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, the annual Pacific Pride Festival held last Saturday at Leadbetter Beach was lively and energetic. An estimated 4,000 people — young and old and gay and straight — attended the festival which featured a Dance Tent, the Pride Soon-to-be-Wed Game, and the Pride Beer and Wine Garden. Live performances by Latrice Royale, Expose, several DJs, and local drag performers took place all afternoon and into the evening.
The free event’s all-volunteer committee worked closely with the Pacific Pride Foundation — a nonprofit that provides services for lesbians and gays, or anyone affected by HIV/AIDS — to create a event that celebrated sexual and gender diversity and raised funds for LGBQT programs in Santa Barbara.
The festival sought to create unity within the LGBQT communities and beyond, according to the Foundation’s executive director, David Selberg. “Because Santa Barbara doesn’t have a gay nightclub, business district, or neighborhood as other cities might have,” Selberg said, “doing social events like this which welcome everybody is so vital.”