“If it can be done safely, we will be doing it,” PrideFest head Egan Orion tells CHS.
As Seattle’s annual June Pride parade and festivities are already set to be online only again next month as the pandemic continues to slow, work is underway to bring together a safe festival around Broadway and Cal Anderson — even if it means waiting for later in summer.
“We’re working closely with the city on those plans and if all goes well, we expect to be one of the only non-sports festivals that will take place this year,” Orion said. “It will be a two day event, all on Capitol Hill.”
In 2020, organizers responded to the risks around large gatherings with an April decision to move the energy from the annual parade and celebrations on Capitol Hill and Seattle Center to online gatherings and virtual events. CHS reported here on 2020’s Pride Weekend happenings and efforts around BIPOC Pride in a summer of Black Lives Matter marches and activism.
This year, while June still won’t be the same, Orion said the hope is for the neighborhood to come together soon. They’re getting word out now to bars, retail, restaurants, and with organizers from the Dyke March and Trans Pride “to make sure businesses and non-profits that normally take part in the celebrations have the opportunity to do so, if they so choose,” Orion said.
Another organizer, meanwhile, has announced plans for a parade and events on Capitol Hill in June despite the ongoing COVID-19 concerns. Capitol Hill Pride, managed by the folks behind the Museum of the Mysteries that used to be located on Broadway, said last week they plan to move forward with their events. In 2018, the city moved on from Capitol Hill Pride over safety concerns and awarded the permits for the annual street festival and Pride weekend activities to PrideFest.
The planned PrideFest festivities will come after more than a year of restrictions and lockdowns around the COVID-19 crisis that have included the cancellation of neighborhood events from community clean-ups to the annual Capitol Hill Block Party three-day music festival in July. Block Party organizers have yet to make an announcement about the 2021 edition of the feastival.
Meanwhile, PrideFest says June will bring a smaller opportunity to gather in person and celebrate Pride together. June 6th, the group’s annual neighborhood clean-up around Cal Anderson is set to take place with a new “Taking Pride in Capitol Hill” name. You can learn more at seattlepridefest.org/schedule.
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