OAKLAND -- Oakland native Sheila E. -- who this year has been frequently returning to her roots with appearances at the Oakland Running Festival, Yoshi's nightclub and a school music fundraising show at the Fox Theater -- headlines the city's gay pride festival Sunday.
And for a first time, Oakland Pride will host a parade starting at 10:30 a.m. along Broadway from 14th to 20th streets, which event organizers say could draw up to 50,000 attendees.
The festival's main entrance in Oakland's Uptown district is on Broadway at 20th and runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday with more than 50 performance artists, 100 food, beverage and information booths, a children's play area, a wedding pavilion, a health information area and more.
Our Family Coalition, Lavender Seniors of the East Bay, Pacific Center, East Bay AIDS Advocacy Foundation and many other organizations will be on hand at the event.
Oakland first started hosting an East Bay pride celebration on Labor Day weekend in 1997, but the event slowly got folded into the city's Art + Soul Festival before ending in 2004. After state voters outlawed gay marriage six years ago, several community members and City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan relaunched the event and it's been doing strong ever since. Last year, the June legalization of gay marriage in California was celebrated at the festival.
Born and raised in East Oakland, Sheila E., who was born Sheila Escovedo, is the daughter of famed Latin percussionist Pete Escovedo.
But by age 3, she was performing and over the past four decades has made her own name, recording and touring with big players in jazz, pop and rock including, Kanye West, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan, Billy Cobham, Prince, Natalie Cole, George Duke, Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and Ringo Starr.
Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for children younger than 12. For more information, go to www.oaklandpride.org.
Follow Kristin J. Bender at Twitter.com/kjbender.