Sonoma County's Gay Playground

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2011 June

The month of June is in so many ways really the kick off for the Summer Season here on the River. So many of us, myself included always look forward to the lazy days of Summer, spent floating on the River, hanging out at Johnson’s Beach eating ice cream or many of the other activities that are available in the area.

In June are the parades. We have two really fun, but very different parades to attend.

Let's start with the first one, it's Sonoma County LGBT Pride Parade and Festival. A must-not-miss event in my book. On June 5th where else would you be but in Guernevile? The parade down Main Street kicks off at 11AM with Nuns on Vespa scooters; Dykes on Bykes, the Homotos motorcycle club; roller derby girls; marching bands- including the San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Freedom Band; classic cars, community organizations, social groups and spiritual organizations. Sister Saviour Applause and Sister Barbi Mitzvah, a founding member of the Russian River Sisters will act as parade announcers. Grand Marshall Brigadier General Keith Kerr, one of the key military activists in ending DADT, will be accompanied by a color and veteran’s contingent. [The first 25 vets to join the contingent will receive a free “Proud Gay Vet” t-shirt to wear in the parade.] After the parade celebrants continue on to Guerneville Lodge for the Pride Celebration.

The Pride Celebration is all about the theme of “GAY SERA, SYRAH”. You are going to find many of the venders and venues at the Guernevile Lodge that make Sonoma County such a great place to live, work and play. With some local massage folks, a wine garden and for the first time a Faerie Village (the idea of this is actually something I helped start at SF Pride over twelve years ago, to take credit where credit is due. Here at home this year it's being hosted by Sister Dawna Matrix of the Russian River Sisters.) The MC for the event is one of my dear friends Pippi Lovestocking acting as Mistress of Ceremonies for this year’s festivities. Pippi is a co-founder of the long running SF institution “Trannyshack”, and a veteran performer of television and standup comedy. (Other little known fact, I once was in a community access cable show with Pippi. She is funny as heck and a great person also.) With bands and other folks entertaining us, it's gonna be a not to be missed event.

The following weekend is the Stump Town Days. On June 11 it's all about the old days (re-envisioned to be more fun of course.) With the theme of Back in the Saddle, Again.
Join us at this year’s Stumptown Daze Festivities! The Stumptown Daze crew is rounding up all those old fashioned, great Western fun times for your enjoyment. Come on down to see the floats, the horses, and of course, the 6-gun shooters. Got a friend you wouldn’t mind seeing behind bars? Pay the Deputy $5 to have them thrown into the “Stumptown Jail.” After the parade join the Russian River Fire Protection District at the annual BBQ in Lark Drugs’ parking lot.

On the commerce front, there are some great new business either opening in the area, or just this side of being open. I can't really talk about a couple of the new spaces that are opening on Main Street since they aren't open yet. But expect a couple of new places or expanded spaces on the main strip of town. And the one that I really would like to talk about that should be open by July, I'll give a great spread to them when that happens, but in the mean time I want to talk about one of the new spaces that I can talk about. Yamagata Tea House at 17121 Highway 116 is up and going. Yeah I've saying they were going to be opening soon for who knows how long. Well it happened! Ya know it's one of those things, when something is worth doing it's worth doing right. And well Mark has done a great job with the space. Now long term they are going to be doing some really fun things with the kitchen and other stuff, but for the moment you can come out and have a great cup of tea, or coffee beverages with 'em Thursday through Sunday 11 am to 5. With late night, after hours on Friday and Saturday 8 pm to 3 am. Just saying though I'm the one who will be dishing the tea on Friday and Saturdays. Look for some great parties and events also to be in the works as the season continues and ya know, it's also a great venue for your event if you want to look at holding it somewhere that you don't have to do the cooking, or cleanup. Let us know. Drop by or send me a email if your interested.

Anyways, that is my story for June. I really feel excited about the new energy around town, some new and reinvented spaces around town. And hey it's sunny and warm, what are we gonna complain about anyways?

I'll be back next month, so in the meantime tune into my show “The River Dish” every Sunday but the fourth week of the month on KGGV 95.1 LP FM “The Bridge” on line at www.kggvfm.org. And my advice for the month if you can't be good, at least be good at it! Though if you are hosting a event, or need fashion advice, feel free to drop me a line at mzalicedee@gmail.com.


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