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Organizers making plans for safe in-person Pride celebration on Capitol Hill later in summer

It won’t happen next month but organizers are making plans for a large in-person summer 2021 Pride event on Capitol Hill.

“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.”

Scenes from Pride 2019

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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CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
3 days ago

There’s a way to make this happen…. unless you have a really compelling health based reason to not get it, and I mean so compelling your physician tells you not to, go get vaccinated. Go now. Get all of your friends to go. Get people who aren’t you friends to go….. with enough people protected we could see that curve drop as fast as it rose!

Zach
Zach
3 days ago
Reply to  CD Neighbor

I agree with the importance of this. What also seems to be happening is people are going to reopen anyway and there will be surges. Also there are still major racial and economic and regional disparities in vaccination rates for complex reasons. Also we don’t live in isolation. Until this is under control globally, in addition to that suffering globally, the curve won’t drop as fast here. I have no idea how things will be in the future. And I do think the hope of return to “norm” can be a good motivator. But even now, at least 5% of people who get the 1st shot of the 2 shot kinds, don’t get the 2nd. Lower vaccination rates among right wing and males. Lower vaccination rates among the police (not great for people with such interaction with the public). It’s just not being universally adopted. And society is just opening up anyway, so these “vaccinate and you’ll get to do X” will start to not have motivational punch because things will sort of be generally open all over.

Side note: Egan Orion does not speak for me in a pride context in any way. I’m taking this is a larger point than addressing the specifics. Just to say that pride events already have accessibility issues that need to be prioritized. And a large swath won’t go at all for health and safety reasons, leaving what? if they eliminate online pride versions, then it just creates even more isolation.

KL
KL
3 days ago
Reply to  CD Neighbor

Yes. This. Thank you, CD Neighbor.

C Doom
C Doom
2 days ago

Egan Orion, a guy that actually cares about D3 and Capitol Hill. Unlike our existing D3 Councilwoman, who only cares about raising money for the Socialist Alternative.