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A parade, music and more, forms part of the fun at the first ever Santa Ynez Valley Pride festival

The first ever Santa Ynez Valley Pride Festival is set for June this year
SYV Pride
The first ever Santa Ynez Valley Pride Festival is set for June this year

The newly-formed Santa Ynez Valley Pride organization celebrates LGBTQIA+ culture.

From DJs and drag queens, to parades, beers and bumper cars, the first ever Santa Ynez Valley Pride Week is set to be fun for the whole family.

Golzar Meamar, the CEO of SYV Pride says as well as having a good time - Pride also has a serious message about inclusion.

“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 Meamar.

“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.”

The multi-day event is set to be held Wednesday through Sunday, June 22-26, 2022.

Meamar explained, 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.

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.

The inaugural Santa Ynez Valley Pride runs from June 22 through 26.

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022 and 2023.

Since joining the station she's won 7 Golden Mike Awards, 4 Los Angeles Press Club Awards and 2 National Arts & Entertainment Awards.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for ten years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.