Flag, festival bring Pride to Concord

Flag, festival bring Pride to Concord
Rainbow Center Executive Director Jack Rednour-Bruckman, Board President Dodi Zotigh and Concord Mayor Carlyn Obringer raise the Rainbow Flag at City Hall on May 31. (Photo courtesy of Rainbow Center)

The warm breeze was right on point for the LGBTQ Pride flag raising ceremony at Concord City Hall on May 31, as a sizeable crowd gathered to honor the occasion.

The City Council voted last year to fly the rainbow flag for the month of June, known around the country as Pride Month. Mayor Carlyn Obringer welcomed everyone before asking members of the Rainbow Community Center (RCC) to say a few words.

“This is a beautiful moment for me personally,” said Jack Rednour-Bruckman, executive director of RCC. “I grew up in Concord and went to high school right down the street. I used to think something was wrong with me, but now I’m being invited by the mayor to speak about our LGBTQ community during Pride.”

Surrounded by RCC colleagues, Rednour-Bruckman described some of the center’s programs and invited the crowd to come to the Pride Festival the next day. “We want to celebrate all the ways we’re different and all the things we have in common,” he said. “It’s about diversity, inclusiveness, tolerance and coming together, especially during these troubling times. We’ve got each other’s back, and we are stronger together.”

Mayor Obringer echoed the sentiment. “I also want to acknowledge how meaningful this ceremony is to me, because we know that Concord’s history has not always been so supportive of our LGBTQ community. I’m just thrilled that our City Council has now passed a resolution to raise the Pride flag every June.”

Concord’s 12th annual Pride Festival, which followed on June 1 in Todos Santos Plaza, was well-attended and, by all accounts, a huge success. The mom huggers were a big crowd-pleaser, the drag queens were divine and everyone enthusiastically embraced all things rainbow. An urban beat made for happy feet, and dozens of community organizations and local businesses joined the party to show support.

“It takes a village to produce an event like Pride. Thanks to our volunteers, the city and our generous sponsors and vendors, it gets bigger and better every year,” said Rednour-Bruckman. “Everyone worked so hard to make sure Concord had a fabulous celebration and, thankfully, the weather was perfect.”

He said this year’s focus was providing quality entertainment for all ages. “We worked with an amazing DJ, a talented emcee, and we booked some really great singers, dancers and performers,” he noted.

Visit rainbowcc.org to see a gallery of photos from the day and learn more about programs and services.