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May 6, 2022 – Solvang, CA – New Santa Barbara County nonprofit, SYV Pride (www.SYVPride.org), has plans in place for the first Pride celebration to grace the Santa Ynez Valley’s various wine country towns, a multi-day event to be held Wednesday through Sunday, June 22-26, 2022. The newly-formed SYV Pride organization is a safe, supportive and empowering home for the local LGBTQIA+ community in the Santa Ynez Valley, with a mission to achieve equality, justice and respect for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities through education and the celebration of LGBTQIA+ culture.
“SYV Pride is setting the foundation for a more open-minded and open-hearted community by organizing the [Santa Ynez] Valley’s first Pride festival, marking a turning point for those individuals fighting to live here, authentically,” said Golzar Meamar, Executive Director / CEO of SYV Pride, and owner of Santa Ynez-based All Purpose Flower Fine Catering & Events. “By celebrating as a community, we are upholding the dignity of our friends, neighbors and especially, our youth. We will continue to celebrate self-worth and visibility and inspire others to fight for our nation’s promise of justice for all.”
Scheduled for the inaugural SYV Pride week is a Wednesday, June 22 Welcome Party at Solvang’s Dana V. Wines tasting room and outdoor patio (4:00 PM), to include a DJ, drag queens, cabaret by Billy Hurbaugh, wine specials, and food available for purchase from Solvang restaurant, peasants FEAST. On Saturday, June 25, the SYV Pride Parade (11:00 AM) will roll through downtown Solvang with floats, a Pride march, music, and more, ending with Pride Fest in the center of town, in Solvang Park (12:00 PM to 5:00 PM; corner of Mission Drive and First Street). Festival attendees should expect a family-friendly afternoon complete with beats by DJ Keelez, who will open for Area 51; a play area, kiddie bumper cars, and bounce houses; a beer garden sponsored by Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.; food vendors such as Rudy’s Fresh Mexican Food and The Doggy Door hot dogs; and an inspirational lineup of special guests and speakers.
Sunday, June 26 will bring an all-ages-welcome Drag Brunch to Solvang’s newest eatery, bar and entertainment venue, Corque Crafthouse & Kitchen, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Featured, will be a brunch buffet with mimosas and bloody marys, a drag show, and auction.
“Growing up as an out queer boy in the Santa Ynez Valley has certainly proved to be a trial. Santa Ynez Valley Pride is working to make a better future for the queer people in our community. As a president of Santa Ynez Valley High School’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club, I have played an active role in supporting queer students on campus, but before the foundation of SYV Pride, there was no organization devoted to the queer community of the Valley. I am thrilled to be a part of this fantastic, and long overdue change for our Valley,” remarked Harry Mullin, Social Media Manager for SYV Pride and a student and GSA President at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School.
SYV Pride, the first such organization in the Santa Ynez Valley, informally launched in June of 2021 with a small fundraising event at Dana V. Wines. The organization, now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, includes the following dedicated Board and Members: Golzar Meamar, Executive Director / CEO, owner of All Purpose Flower Fine Catering & Events; Matthew Cavalli, President, Owner of Solvang’s ONEderChild and Four Little Gummies; Lauren Lastra, Vice President, Higher Ed Administrator, Pacifica Graduate Institute; Laura Newman, Secretary, owner of Los Olivos’ Lefty’s Coffee Co.; Ken Sorenson, Treasurer, Sorensen & Associates; Alyce Barrick, owner of Santa Ynez’s Queen Cup Coffee; Adriana Reyes, Case Manager / Inclusion Program Director with People Helping People; and Harry Mullin, Social Media Manager for the organization and a student and GSA President at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School.
“Denmark is considered a progressive country which has adopted legislation and policies to support all minority groups including the LGBTQ+ community. We found it most fitting to celebrate Pride in Danish-settled Solvang. I was born and raised in this community, and we have never had a festival like this. This pride event will bring love and acceptance to our Valley,” commented Adriana Reyes, Inclusion Program Director, People Helping People. “SYV Pride’s mission of believing and achieving equality, justice and respect for all coincides with Inclusion SYV’s mission, which I represent. Together, we are advocating for change for our community. It is important to show our young LGBTQ+ community members that we are here and we will stand together in PRIDE.”
Dog-friendly and ideal for kids, Solvang, known for its Danish-American vibe, Scandinavian architecture and design details, pastries, bakeries and plentiful wine tasting options, also boasts dozens upon dozens of unique boutiques, restaurants and gourmet food purveyors. Carefully-curated indie bookstores and high-end home goods suppliers mingle with fairy tale-like children’s boutiques and museum gift shops. Solvang’s numerous foodie havens offer up everything from elevated street cuisine – like locally-sourced fish tacos on handmade tortillas, and comforting ramen noodles – to European-style pretzels and sausages, to Italian standbys or iconic Danish dishes, to elevated new-Californian fare in the form of Michelin-honored menus, to heritage grain sourdough loaves or limited edition cheese releases. Solvang visitors sip small-batch, locally-roasted coffee, shop for exotic and familiar hand-bottled spice blends, or swill Tiki cocktails and craft beers, all part of an indulgent and one-of-a-kind California Central Coast shopping and playing escape.
The June 2022 SYV Pride celebration is open to the public with ticketed and non-ticketed events. Event updates will be posted to the SYV Pride website (www.SYVPride.org), and Instagram and Facebook feeds: @SYV.Pride and facebook.com/SYVPride.
In addition to the official 2022 SYV Pride events, local businesses will be hosting Pride happenings with a portion of proceeds benefitting the SYV Pride organization and efforts. The legendary Maverick Saloon in the town of Santa Ynez will host “Gayraoke” every Tuesday evening throughout the month of June; Solvang’s 1525 Taps and Sports will host a “Dodgers Pride Night” on June 3; and Carhartt Family Wines will host “Sip & Slay” on June 24. (Other ancillary SYV Pride event programming, TBA.)
SYV Pride is sponsored in part by Ramsey Asphalt Construction and Sorensen & Associates (Premier Sponsors), and Visit the Santa Ynez Valley (Commemorative Sponsor).
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