It's fall: the seasons shift, in Southern California the last blasts of heat settle in, and many Pagans celebrate Mabon and the beginning of Harvest. Across the country, throughout September and early October, many cities celebrate Pagan Pride.
Southern California hosts five such events. Typically San Diego Pagan Pride gets the ball rolling; this year, Pagan vendors, authors, speakers, and notables will gather in Balboa Park in San Diego September 14. Next this year is Riverside Pagan Pride September 28, at Citrus Historical State Park. Then comes Antelope Valley Pagan Pride, on October 5, in Quartz Hill at George Lane Park. Rounding out the trio of events is Pagan Pride LA/OC, October 6, at Rainbow Lagoon in Long Beach.
Anaheim Pagans can travel just a short distance to Pagan Pride LA. PPLA returns to Rainbow Lagoon again this year, in downtown Long Beach. Parking is notoriously difficult in much of Long Beach, but fortunately this area of Long Beach is particularly walker and bike friendly, and there are a number of local bus and metro transit options. PPLA will be from 10am to 5pm, and as usual attendees are invited to bring canned good donations. Raffle tickets are also available for purchase at the entrance. Pagan Pride LA/OC is also running an Indiegogo campaign; as of today there are 10 more days to participate to help the organizers reach their fundraising goal. It is important to note that organizers are volunteers, and tents, tables, chairs, and numerous other items all have to be rented or purchased.
The mission of Pagan Pride organizers throughout the country, including Southern California, is to not only reach out to the non Pagan community through education, but also to foster a sense of community, safety, and unity under the vast Pagan umbrella. Many practicing Pagans, which include Wiccans, Witches, Druids, and a long list of other beliefs, practice in solitary or continue to feel the need to keep their practices hidden or discreet. Pagan Pride Days offer Pagans the chance to be open and to meet and network with other Pagans from a variety of faiths, and are a chance to show the larger community that Pagans are integral members of the community, as well as dispel some common misunderstandings and assumptions that many may make about Pagans.