The big Dallas Pride festival at Fair Park was last week, but pride celebrations continue in the city all month. In Oak Cliff, Texas Latino Pride and CocoAndre Chocolatier will put on another event from 5 to 10 p.m. this Saturday, June 15.
Oak Cliff's first pride celebration happened last year after friends Cindy Pedraza-Puentes and Juan Contreras noted the lack of Pride events in the area.
“Juan is Texas Latino Pride. He’s been having these kind events for a while now,” Pedraza-Puentes says. “We wondered: Why aren’t we having one here in Oak Cliff? There’s a large community of LGBTQIA people. It’s a need. We should be having one and celebrating our neighbors and family.”
Last year’s Oak Cliff Pride was a much smaller affair.
“Last year we did it so fast because we wanted to get it on the books,” Pedraza-Puentes says. “We put it together in less than two weeks. It was small, but it was a good turnout; we considered it a win.”
The Oak Cliff Pride at CocoAndre has been built as a family-friendly event from the get-go.
“We want to make it more family-friendly, where you’re able to bring your kids and feel comfortable in that setting and celebrate your loved ones," Pedraza-Puentes says. “We want this to be a safe space where you can be with your family. We have little ones, and sometimes it’s hard to take them to the big Pride event because you might have to explain a leather daddy to a 3-year-old. We are going to have drag queens, but they’ll be modest drag queens.”
Husband and wife Armando Puentes and Cindy Pedraza-Puentes are owners of CocoAndre Chocolatier, the host location for the event. This artisan chocolate shop in Bishop Arts blends European chocolate traditions with modern Mexican flavors.
There will also be food vendors and shopping. Enjoy bites from Revolution Vegan Cuisine, Casa Masa and Down to Earth Vegan. You can shop with local vendors like Anne’s Disasters, Thea Style, Made in Oak Cliff and more.
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In addition to the vendors, they’ll have speakers, and a portion of the day's sales will go to an as-yet-unnamed LGBTQIA organization.
For Pedraza-Puentes, the event is just as much about celebrating pride as it is showing her daughters the type of world she'd like to live in.
“I want a setting where our girls get to see these couples together in one environment and we’re all loving on them and we all feel like one,” Pedraza-Puentes says. “I want them to see that there’s no difference between any of us.”
CocoAndre Chocolatier, 508 W. 7th St. (Bishop Arts District)