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Gatherers waved pride flags over the weekend at Pride by the Beach in Oceanside. Photo by Samantha Nelson
Colorful costumes and other unique performers entertained thousands at the Oceanside Pride by the Beach festival. Photo by Samantha Nelson
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Oceanside’s Pride by the Beach kicks off Pride Month

OCEANSIDE — The city’s annual Pride by the Beach festival kicked off Pride Month, with nearly 25,000 people celebrating throughout the day.

The North County LGBTQ Resource Center organized the annual festival, which took place on June 1 this year, the first day of Pride Month. This year’s festival, “Our Stories Are Power,” shut off most of Pier View Way up to the Oceanside Museum of Art and parts of Ditmar Street and the Civic Center courtyard.

“It was amazing to see our community come together and celebrate,” said Roxanne Deatherage, director of Pride by the Beach. “Throughout the event, people shared their stories to inspire others, showing that even in hard times, there is hope for a brighter future. The day was filled with dancing, laughter, community building and an all-around great time.”

The family-friendly festival featured two stages — one on either end of Pier View Way — where local acts performed throughout the day. 

Chelsea Zarate and Jayde McCurry offer informational flyers, temporary tattoos and other goodies at the First Lutheran Church booth at the Oceanside Pride by the Beach festival. First Lutheran is an LGBTQ-affirming church. Photo by Samantha Nelson
Chelsea Zarate and Jayde McCurry offer informational flyers, temporary tattoos and other goodies at the First Lutheran Church booth at Pride by the Beach in Oceanside. First Lutheran is an LGBTQ-affirming church. Photo by Samantha Nelson
The San Diego Sisters grace Oceanside’s Pride by the Beach festival with their holy presence. Photo by Samantha Nelson
The San Diego Sisters grace Oceanside’s Pride by the Beach festival with their holy presence. Photo by Samantha Nelson

“Our entertainment was outstanding,” Deatherage said. “It truly showcased the vibrant spirit and unity of our town.”

The festival also featured 173 vendors who lined the streets with their booths, some selling food, clothes, artisan goods and other products, while non-profits and other organizations provided information on the services they offer the community.

Some churches, such as Oceanside Sanctuary, First Lutheran Church and several others, also had booths where people could learn about their LGBTQ-affirming beliefs.

The Oceanside Sanctuary’s booth offered festivalgoers a chance to write a positive affirmation, intention or prayer on a colorful ribbon tied to an arch. Each affirmation or prayer was blessed during the next morning’s church service.

The Band Cope from San Diego performs at the 2024 Pride by the Beach celebration in Oceanside. Photo by Samantha Nelson
The Band Cope from San Diego performs at Pride by the Beach in Oceanside. Photo by Samantha Nelson
North County based Sol Remedy performs at the Oceanside Pride by the Beach festival. Photo by Samantha Nelson
North County-based Sol Remedy performs at the Oceanside Pride by the Beach festival. Photo by Samantha Nelson

“Our goals every year are to highlight the variety of programs we offer at the North County LGBTQ Resource Center and ensure that everyone in our community feels seen, supported and welcomed,” Deatherage said.

According to Max Disposti, founder and executive director of the resource center, the festival’s attendance continues to grow yearly. 

“Last year we had 20,000 participants and even more attendees this year,” Disposti said. 

Disposti said those who come to Pride by the Beach understand that the city’s pride festival is not just a celebration but also a way to connect people with the “lifesaving services” that the resource center provides. 

The resource center provides homelessness prevention for LGBTQ youth, including rental assistance and shelter, senior food distribution, behavioral health counseling, immigration assistance, LGBTQ awareness training and advocacy, among other services.

“We will continue to be the Pride that opens the San Diego region celebrations, but also to continue to be the heart of our community, its visibility and its advocacy for change,” Disposti said.

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