There seemed to be more dykes — and people who love them — than ever on Broadway Saturday night. Friday night brought what looked like the largest Trans Pride Seattle ever to Capitol Hill. And in between, PrideFest Capitol Hill and quantifiably more beer gardens and street parties then ever filled the neighborhood with a 2019 celebration of LGBTQ rights, culture, and, yes, dogs dressed up in drag.
CHS marched along with Saturday’s Seattle Dyke March visiting the crowds and booths along Broadway for PrideFest Capitol Hill along the way. Thousands took part in this year’s march starting with the traditional rally at Seattle Central before taking to the street and heading north on Broadway.
CHS can’t say exactly what brought out the thicker than usual crowds. The weather was mostly perfect throughout. And an increased investment in the party end of things added more streets dedicated to Pride than ever with beer gardens closing down E Pike, 11th Ave, 14th Ave near Pine, 14th Ave near Union, and 13th Ave.
Another year of stable management of the Broadway street festival also helped grow the celebration in the neighborhood this year. In 2018, the city turned to longtime Seattle Center celebration planner PrideFest and organizer Egan Orion to take over the annual Broadway street festival after growing complaints about the event’s longtime grassroots management. CHS isn’t endorsing Orion in his run for a City Council seat — we’ll leave that to the downtown chamber of commerce — but the stabilization of Capitol HIll’s big Pride event should definitely win the candidates a few votes.
As the Dyke March made its way north on Broadway, mostly love was found along the way though a small group of street preacher types and protesters outside Capitol Hill Station earned a half-hearted escort from police to protect the group’s free speech rights — as well as several earfuls from people out to enjoy Pride but met by the hate messages. Others chose to fight the hate with love, treating the assembly to some 1st Amendment-level makeout sessions. There were no reported arrests.
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