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Solvang celebrates first Pride Fest

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Posted at 7:34 PM, Jun 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-26 01:41:53-04

June is pride month and for some cities across the central coast, this year will be their first celebration, including the city of Solvang.

Hundreds gathered to celebrate love, acceptance, and equality.

Organizers say their goal is to create a safe space where everyone can be their authentic selves.

“This is like awesome, I like it. Everyone can come out with who they are, they’re not judged," said Lompoc resident, Amber Gaitan.

With rainbow pride flags waving in the air, music, and dancing, people in attendance say this event is a turning point for the Santa Ynez Valley.

“There’s such a large community here of queer people that have had no recognition ever and today we are finally getting that recognition," said Santa Ynez Valley Pride social media manager, Harry Mullin.

Mullin said he has lived in the Santa Ynez Valley his whole life and had never seen anything like this event before.

“Today is the breaking of a dam. It’s the releasing of a flood gate of change and possibility for the Santa Ynez Valley that we haven’t really seen before," said Mullin.

“Honestly I am seeing a lot of tears, a lot of gratitude, everyone is kind of shocked that this is here in such a big way," said Golzar Meamar, Santa Ynez Valley Pride CEO.

Santa Ynez Pride said its core mission is to celebrate the LGBTQ community but also to offer support year-round with permanent safe spaces and community programs.