River City Sparkle LogoSparkle Logo

October 8, 2016


…to the party of the year!

Join us for the West Coast’s most glamorous transgender event, River City Sparkle 2016 – now in its ninth 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 4

Member Price


Until October 4

At the Door


Quantities limited

The theme for this year’s annual gala ball is “It’s About Time.” Our Sparkle ballroom will be lavishly decorated in the theme colors of black and gold, featuring images of clocks and watches alongside playful riffs on well-known phrases such as “Time flies” and “Once upon a time.”

We are expecting over 100 attendees, including friends, family, and visitors from out of state along with many from Northern and Southern 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 style or a classic LBD (Little Black Dress), you’ll have an amazing night at River City Sparkle!

Once Upon a Time . . .

In keeping with this year’s theme, we will be displaying a photo gallery of Sparkle attendees, entitled “Once Upon a Time.” We would love to include a photo of you that was taken “Once upon a time” — possibly your first time dressed, your first time out, or at least an earlier time.

Photos may be any size, preferably framed in black or gold. Be creative and decorate your frame if you wish! Bring your framed photo to any Gems event prior to Sparkle, or give it to us on Sparkle night.

Cocktail Hour

Mix, mingle, sip a cocktail or two, and pose for some FREE snapshots with your friends in our “It’s About Time” photobooth!

Dinner & Show

Sit down to a sumptuous 3-course dinner, then enjoy world-class stand-up featuring Bay Area comedy favorite Dan St. Paul.

Dance Party

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

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
Wine Country Salad

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

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

Marinated Tri-Tip Steak

Sliced Tri-Tip, Roasted Red Potatoes, Sautéed Mushrooms, Cabernet-Honey Demi Glace

Grilled Chicken and Scampi

Herb Grilled Chicken and Shrimp, Wild Rice Pilaf, Whole Grain Mustard Sauce

Stuffed Portabella

Portabella Mushroom, Spring Vegetable Ratatouille, Pearl Couscous, Roasted Tomato Sauce

Dessert & Coffee
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

Dan St. Paul

Bay Area comedian Dan St. Paul has appeared on several episodes of “An Evening at the Improv,” VH-1, MTV, and Comedy Central. He has opened for such superstars as Jerry Seinfeld, Natalie Cole, Dwight Yoakum, Smokey Robinson, and Vince Gill. In a testament to the classiness of his act, Dan even opened for the San Francisco Symphony (“These guys are great! I knew them back when they were just a garage band.”

Dan appeared in the movie Flubber with Robin Williams, and signed a recording deal with MCA records. His CD “Natural and Good for You” contains one of the most requested comedy pieces on radio, “The First Baseball Game.”

The majority of Dan’s material comes from being a suburban husband and father and dealing with the frustrations of everyday life. The Los Angeles Theater and Entertainment Review gave Dan’s show its highest praise: “Combining a sharp, clean wit with an outstanding talent for creating characters, Dan’s show appeals to audiences of all ages… what sets Dan apart is that he doesn’t just tell jokes, but rather creates a series of comedic events.”

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.

A limited number of tickets will be available at the door. Tickets at the door are $70 for everyone (members and non-members). You may pay at the door by cash or check only.

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 your preference.

If you have any questions, please email info@rivercitysparkle.org

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

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.

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

Friday Night

Interested in getting a jump on your Sparkle weekend? Join us Friday night, October 7, 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.

I have been attending Sparkle every year since 2009, and they just keep getting better. The decorations, the food, the entertainment, and meeting so many warm, welcoming, wonderful ladies all makes for a magical experience.⁓Jennifer

with 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.

Update: Julia is fully booked for Sparkle and is not able to take any new makeup appointments..

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

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 colors 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?

Yes! The Gems will be providing a changing room at the hotel. If you need to change, just stop by Suite 302 anytime after 3:00pm and ask one of our volunteers for the changing room key.

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 Tuesday, October 4. 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 7, 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 membership dues (through February 2017) 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 previous River City Sparkle events and other socials at the Red Lion, including our monthly Femme Friday gathering. You can expect the staff to treat you with courtesy and respect.

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. You can also send an email to info@rivercitysparkle.org requesting to be seated with your group. Each reserved table seats 10 people, and a minimum of 8 is required to reserve.

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

Absolutely! Each year, about a third of Sparkle attendees are 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 info@rivercitysparkle.org and let us know that you wish to transfer your ticket.

Still have questions? Email info@rivercitysparkle.org