Sparkle 2015 LogoSparkle 2015 Logo

October 17, 2015

Buy Tickets


…to the party of the year!

Join us for the West Coast’s most glamorous transgender event, River City Sparkle 2015 – now in its eighth year! Tickets are on sale now! Celebrate with us and experience an elegant evening of dinner, dancing, and entertainment for the whole transgender community.

Regular Price


Until October 14

Member Price


Until October 14

At the Door


Quantities limited

The theme for this year’s annual gala ball is 50 Shades of Green. Inspired by art and nature, our Sparkle ballroom will be lavishly decorated in a palette of greens ranging from forest to seafoam to apple to chartreuse.

Last year’s event was a huge success, with nearly 100 in attendance, including friends, family, and several visitors from out of state as well as many from throughout California. It’s a spectacular occasion not to be missed!

CD, TG, TS, MtF, FtM, family, friends, and allies – everyone is welcome, so don’t miss this opportunity to dress in your finest attire and party the night away! Whether you wear a prom dress, a ball gown, a cute cocktail dress or a classic LBD (Little Black Dress) you’ll have an amazing night at River City Sparkle!


Cocktail Hour

Mix, mingle, sip a cocktail or two, and pose for some fun snapshots with your friends in our 50 Shades of Green photobooth!

Dinner & Show

Sit down to a sumptuous 3-course dinner, then enjoy world-class stand-up comedy featuring Larry “Bubbles” Brown.

Dance Party

Kick up your high heels ’til midnight as DJ Amber keeps the party going with a mix of the latest hits and classic dance tunes.


Wine Country Salad

Spinach Leaves, Grapes, Dried Cranberries, Walnuts, Gorgonzola Cheese & Balsamic Vinaigrette

Your choice of entree, served with a selection of seasonal vegetables

Seared Sea Bass

Sweet Potato Puree, Braised Red Cabbage, Roasted Asparagus, Citrus-Chardonnay Butter Sauce

Chicken Juliette

Grilled Breast of Chicken filled with Spinach and Brie, in Citrus Champagne Sauce

Vegetable Gratinee

Wild Mushrooms, Asparagus, Tomato & Caramelized Onions On Rosemary Polenta with Melted Fontina

Dessert & Coffee
floral quotes
A very fun evening! The food was really good and the entertainment was tops! It was fun for me to meet so many new people! I really enjoyed meeting some girls that I have only known online! All nicer, and prettier in person! Debby
floral quotes

Comedy Show

Comedian Larry “Bubbles” Brown

Larry "Bubbles" Brown

Bay Area comedy legend Larry “Bubbles” Brown will be bringing his unique brand of hilarious self-deprecating humor to River City Sparkle.

Larry has been perfecting his deadpan style and witty one-liners for over thirty years since making a name for himself at premiere San Francisco clubs like The Punch Line and Holy City Zoo. Larry has appeared on more than 25 television shows, including Late Night with David Letterman. He has been a frequent opening act for Dana Carvey and Dave Attell, and starred in the 2014 hit documentary, Three Still Standing. He has also appeared in films such as The Kite Runner and Knocked Up 2.

Opening for Larry at Sparkle will be stand-up talent Raj Dutta, who has performed at the Punchline and Laughs Unlimited in San Francisco and Sacramento.

Get ready for a world-class comedy show that will leave you grinning. As Larry “Bubbles” Brown would say, “Expect the worst and you will never be disappointed.”

floral quotes
I was apprehensive at first, but all that soon faded away. Everyone I met was nothing short of amazingly cordial, friendly, and supportive. As a new girl that was huge to me, and I will never forget it. Kae
floral quotes

Pre-sparkle dinner

Friday Night

Interested in getting a jump on your Sparkle weekend? Join us Friday night for what has become a pre-Sparkle tradition! Gems members Cindy and Pauline will be hosting a group for dinner and drinks at a local restaurant in Sacramento. This event is open to all, including those not attending Sparkle. There are no fees to attend, so you can spend as much or as little as you please.

While Sparkle is of course a more formal event, attire for the Pre-Sparkle dinner can be anywhere from office dressy to casual Friday. If you are going to be in town and are in the mood for a “warm up” before the big event, just enter your details below and you will receive more information from the organizers.

Pre-Sparkle Dinner RSVP
First and last
Contact email
Number in your party
Questions or comments
floral quotes
Thanks to everyone who helped make Sparkle a great evening. The Red Lion Woodlake was perfect and the location of the ballroom with the courtyard and fountain outside made the evening feel more intimate and special, as it should be. Rachael S.
floral quotes

Buy Tickets

The advance purchase deadline has passed

A limited number of tickets will be available at the door. You may pay at the door by cash, check, or credit card.

Please note that if you are a walk-in guest, your first choice of entree may not be available. However, we will do our best to accommodate you.

If you have any questions, please email

floral quotes
It was so nice to see all of you elegantly dressed ladies in your finest attire looking so beautiful! The decorations were fantastic, the food was good, the music was upbeat, and the dancing was so much fun. All in all it was just a wonderful fun-filled weekend for me. Cheryle
floral quotes


The Red Lion Woodlake

Suite 302
500 Leisure Lane
Sacramento, CA 96815

Suite 302: Please see our hotel map for the location of Suite 302.

Directions to the hotel: Visit the Red Lion website for a map and driving directions.

Booking a room: We recommend that you book early as other conferences and events are taking place in Sacramento the same weekend as Sparkle. There is no special rate code for Sparkle. In past years we have found that online rates are almost always lower than the group booking rate, so we recommend that you book online. You may also book by phone at (800) 733-5466.

Hotel phone: You can call the Red Lion Woodlake directly to speak to their front desk staff: (916) 922-2020.

floral quotes
Thanks to the Gems organizers and support volunteers for a beautiful Sparkle evening. It being my first Sparkle makes it even more special. The Gems has such wonderful members that help make one feel welcomed. I even got out on the dance floor! Monica
floral quotes


with Julia Richardson

Julia Richardson

Julia Richardson of California Makeup will be providing on-site makeup services for River City Sparkle. Julia is a professional makeup artist with many years of experience in makeup for stage, television, weddings and special occasions. She is a longtime ally of the transgender community and specializes in male-to-female makeup.

For River City Sparkle 2015, Julia will set up her portable studio in a private room at the Red Lion Hotel. To book an appointment for an on-site makeover at the special rate of just $60, please call Julia at (916) 925-7434 or email her at

floral quotes
I had one of the best times of my life! The venue was beautiful, the entertainment was great and the food was fantastic. I met so many wonderful girls from so many places. I wish I could’ve talked to everyone! Alicia
floral quotes


frequently asked questions

What should I wear?

There is no dress code, but most guests will choose to wear semi-formal or formal attire. For ladies, this could mean a prom dress, ball gown, cocktail dress, LBD (Little Black Dress), or dressy skirt and top. For gentlemen, consider wearing a dress shirt and slacks, and optionally a jacket and tie. Dressing to match the theme color is not necessary; many attendees choose to, but just as many do not. Wear what makes you feel your best!

Will I be able to change at the hotel?

The Gems will not be providing a changing room at the hotel. If you need to change, we recommend booking a room or making arrangements with a friend who has booked a room.

How will my tickets be delivered to me?

If you have purchased tickets in advance, they will be held for you at the door on the night of the event. The deadline for advance ticket purchases is Wednesday, October 14th. After that date, you may still purchase tickets at the door for $70 each, while they last.

Are there any other events scheduled for the weekend??

As in previous years, there will be a Pre-Sparkle dinner on Friday night, October 16th, at a Sacramento restaurant. To RSVP for the dinner, please use this RSVP form. You are also invited to join us for a post-Sparkle breakfast on Sunday morning from 8am-11am at the Lakeside Bar & Grill, which is located inside the Red Lion Hotel. No RSVP is required for breakfast.

I'd like to become a member of the River City Gems before I buy my ticket. How do I join?

Prorated dues through the end of membership year are currently $30 for an individual or $45 for a couple. To join online or by mail, please visit our membership page.

Is the Red Lion Hotel TG-friendly?

Yes! The River City Gems have held many socials and previous River City Sparkle events at the Red Lion. You can expect the staff to treat you with courtesy and respect. They are excited about hosting this event and want to welcome the transgender community as Sparkle attendees and valued hotel guests.

Is seating assigned, or can I choose where I want to sit?

There is no assigned seating. However, you may request to be seated with a specific group if they have reserved a table at the event. If you are attending with a group, please fill in the “Name of Group” box during online ticket purchase, or make a note on your mail-in order form. If you have already purchased tickets, you can send an email to requesting to be seated with your group. Each reserved table seats 8 people.

Is River City Sparkle an appropriate event for spouses and family members?

Absolutely! Last year, more than a third of Sparkle attendees were spouses, partners, family members, friends, and allies. This is a party that everyone can enjoy. If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to introduce the important people in your life to the transgender community, River City Sparkle is the ideal event for you.

I am an admirer. Can I attend?

You are welcome to attend with your transgender partner as her date, as long as you respect our code of conduct. However, this is not an event for those looking to meet or date transgender women.

What if I buy my ticket but then can't attend? Will I get a refund?

No. All tickets are non-refundable. However, you may sell or donate your ticket to a friend who can come in your place instead. Just send an email to and let us know that you wish to transfer your ticket.

Still have questions? Email