FILLED WITH PRIDE: Pride in the Park Slated for June 10 at Phoenix Park
the event will have live music, drag shows, and nearly 70 vendor booths
Sawyer Hoff, photos by Andrea Paulseth |
June marks the start of Pride Month, a full month of celebrating LGBTQ+ individuals. To celebrate this month locally, the Chippewa Valley LGBTQ+ Community Center, along with many community sponsors, is putting on Eau Claire's Pride in the Park event on June 10.
From 11-4pm, you can enjoy nearly 70 different vendor booths (look out for Volume One and THe Local Store there!), live music performances by Uncommon Denominator, and drag shows, including a drag story time for children. All of the community is welcome to the Phoenix Park event, whether you are a part of the queer community or simply an ally!
This year’s theme is “Better in Color,” which was voted on by the public via the Chippewa Valley LGBTQ+ Community Center’s social media. A local queer artist, Beau Luzar, has created merchandise and posters for the event with the theme in mind.
CV LGBTQ+ Center Executive Director, Kayla Johnson, and President, Katie Bushman, say this year is going to be even larger than last year's event, with more activities geared towards younger kids – thanks to partnerships with the YMCA and the Chippewa and L.E. Phillips Memorial Libraries – to bring exciting and inclusive activities for all ages. There will also be a sensory-friendly area for anyone that needs a more low-key area or break.
We've noticed that a lot of younger families are coming (to the event) and kiddos are coming out even earlier than they used to
– or at least feel safe to be publicly out.
CV LGBTQ+ Community Center President
“We've noticed that a lot of younger families are coming (to the event) and kiddos are coming out even earlier than they used to – or at least feel safe to be publicly out,” Bushman explained. “Kayla and I went on a little adventure last September to the Duluth Pride event and took some notes on some really cool things that they were doing so we could incorporate that into our event and push our event to the next level.”
Based on feedback from last year's event, all music and drag performances have been moved to the Phoenix Park Labyrinth area to give as many people as possible the opportunity to experience them. With an expected 1,000 attendees this year, the Chippewa Valley Pride in the Park is a great, medium-sized Pride event.
“If you struggle in larger crowds, our pride is a nice happy medium that you still get that big inclusive feeling, but you don't get the overwhelming sea of people you get in larger cities,” Bushman said.
With increasing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation happening across the country, it’s incredibly important to come together and show support for our local – and all – queer communities.
Join in on the festivities on June 10 in Phoenix Park and learn more about the Chippewa Valley LGBTQ+ Community Center at cvlgbt.org.