Rainbows Are Out for Sunday’s Davis Pride Run and Festival

They’re painting the town in rainbows ­– literally ­– to celebrate Davis Pride, and to welcome more than 1,500 people for the fourth annual fun run and festival on Sunday, May 20.

On Mother’s Day, Davis Pride volunteers painted two crosswalks with rainbow colors, leading pedestrians to Davis’ Central Park, the event’s venue. On Friday morning, they will use temporary chalk paint to stripe nine more crosswalks.

The free festival, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will fill the park with music, food and support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Davis Pride Festival entertainment includes two “American Idol,” stars, an electronic dance singer and a drag queen fashionista. Central Park, 401 C St., will feature retail and community resource exhibitors, fun zones for teens and children, food vendors, as well as beer, wine and mimosas. Last year’s festival was voted Best of 2017 by Outword Magazine readers.

The festival headliner is Thea Austin, former lead singer with SNAP!, known for the hits “Rhythm is a Dancer” and “(I’ve Got the) Power.” Featured performers include Effie Passero, a Top 20 contestant on this season’s “American Idol”; David Hernandez, a season seven “Idol” alum; and diva Dida Ritz from season four of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Davis Live Music Collective coordinated bands including Shawn Thwaites Rebel Quartet, Tha Dirt Feelin’, La Tour and Telephone. There’s also Cheer Sacramento, Josh Diamonds, Cathy Speck, the Team Davis Singers and the Gay Men’s Chorus.

VIP tickets are available for those who wish backstage access ($20) or an organized meet-and-greet with the entertainers ($30). Visit https://meetgreetdp18.eventbrite.com/ for details.

Sunday starts with the Run/Walk for Equality at 8 a.m., with race-day registration opening at 7 a.m. near the park’s covered pavilion along C Street. Participants can walk or run a 5K or 10K course through Davis’ greenbelts to support the Davis Phoenix Coalition’s education and advocacy programs. Registration is $45 through May 16 at https://davispride.org. There’s also a 1K for $22 and a children’s Rainbow Dash for $5.

Note: The Davis Pride Community Brunch, planned for Saturday, May 19 at UC Davis, has been canceled.

Davis Pride is produced by Davis Phoenix Coalition, a nonprofit that works to foster diversity, end intolerance, prevent hate-motivated violence and support LGBTQ+ youths. The coalition was founded in the aftermath of the 2013 anti-gay attack on Davis resident “Mikey” Partida. Proceeds from Davis Pride support the coalition’s anti-bullying campaigns, and outreach with area police departments, churches and schools.

For more information about Davis Pride activities, visit davispride.org or visit the Davis Pride Facebook page.

Davis Pride Festival schedule

Wells Fargo Main Stage (south end of Community Park):

9:45 a.m.: Run/Walk for Equality Awards

10:25 a.m.: Welcome from Davis Phoenix Coalition by founder Gloria Partida

10:35 a.m.: Josh Diamonds

11 a.m.:  Davis Live Music Collective presents Shawn Thwaites Rebel Quartet

Noon: Cheer Sacramento

12:20 p.m.: Effie Passero of “American Idol”

12:50 p.m.: David Anthony Hernandez of “American Idol”

1:20 p.m.: Cathy Speck

1:25 p.m.: Headliner Thea Austin of SNAP!

1:55 p.m.: Drag Revue with Dida Ritz of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” featuring Helen Heels and Ms. Sasha Glam Devore

2:25 p.m.: Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus

3 p.m.: Davis Live Music Collective presents Tha Dirt Feelin’

Community Stage (north end of park):

10 a.m.: Welcome from Davis Phoenix Coalition

10:10 a.m.: Davis Live Music Collective presents La Tour

11:10 a.m.: Cheer Sacramento

11:30: Rainbow Families Production

2 p.m.: Team Davis Singers

2:30 p.m. Davis Live Music Collective presents Telephone

Other festival highlights:

  • Davis LGBTQ+ Community Center Teen Zone (northeast corner of park)
  • Davis Food Co-op Kids/Pre-teen Zone (behind restrooms)
  • Davis Pride Libation Station with beer, wine and mimosas (under covered pavilion)
  • Food vendors including Woodstock’s Pizza, ChickPeas, Little Rich’s Italian Ice and SqueezePlay Lemonade
  • Vendor and nonprofit tables offering resources and information, including area Pride and religious organizations, local businesses, representatives from the Secretary of State and Yolo County DA’s office, county library and ACLU.
  • HIV testing unit from the Sacramento LGBT Community Center


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