The GLBT Community Center of Colorado (“The Center”) will present Denver PrideFest at Civic Center Park on Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19. The celebration of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual pride will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Expected to draw more than 325,000 people over two days, Denver Pridefest is one of the largest LGBT celebrations in the nation and generates $25 million in economic impact for the city of Denver.
Denver Pridefest features 250 vendors from across the country, over 21 culinary vendors, a political rally, family activities, a 5K race and the Coors Light PrideFest Parade, which includes roughly 140 entries and attracts 145,000 spectators. This year’s entertainment includes, dance club artist CeCe Peniston, Latrice Royale and Nina Flowers from RuPaul’s Drag Race and DJ Cazwell. More than 30 corporations and nonprofit organizations are sponsoring this year’s event.
The mission of Denver PrideFest is to create a fun, safe and empowering space to celebrate and promote the heritage and culture of the LGBT and allied communities of Colorado. The event is the largest fundraiser for The Center, which gives voice to Colorado’s LGBT community and plays a pivotal role in statewide initiatives to reduce harassment and discrimination.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of The Center, now the largest community center serving the LGBT community in the Rocky Mountain region. The Center serves more than 45,000 people each year and over the years, the organization’s programming has evolved to provide support for youth, families and seniors. One of The Center’s newest programs is Range Consulting, which provides training and consulting services to corporations and government entities seeking help with diversity and inclusion issues related to the LGBT employees.
“As the needs of our community have changed, we have adapted our services to satisfy new demands. Our goal has always been to provide the resources that members of the LBGT community need to live happy, healthy and productive lives,” said The Center’s CEO Deb Pollock.
The Center currently operates on a $2.25 million budget, employs 18 staff members and has more than 500 community volunteers.
“Denver Pridefest is a celebration of all that we’ve accomplished and an opportunity to turn the spotlight on the challenges the LGBT community still face,” added Pollock.
Highlights of this year’s event include: Live entertainment on three stages throughout the festival including the Center Stage, U.S. Bank Latino Stage and Smirnoff Dance World.
Saturday, June 18th
Big Gay 5K: Roughly 900 participants are expected to turn out for this timed race, which sends racers from Civic Center Park to Cheesman Park and back. The event starts at 10 a.m. and is open to walkers, runners and kids.
Walmart Family Area: Located on the corner of 14th Avenue and Broadway, this family-friendly area will feature activities created by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, a kids’ parade, a petting zoo and kid’s talent show.
Dogs in Drag: This canine costume contest kicks off at 12:15 p.m. at the Center Stage at The Greek Amphitheatre in Civic Center Park. Dogs will compete in a variety of categories, including the “best pet and owner duo.” One pet per person. $5 registration fee.
Sunday, June 19th
Coors Light PrideFest Parade: Stepping off from Cheesman Park at 9:30 a.m., the parade route runts from 13th and Franklin streets to Colfax Avenue to the State Capitol at Colfax Avenue and Lincoln Avenue. Participants include community groups, politicians, and businesses. The Center’s founders will serve as the grand marshals for this year’s parade.
LGBT Pride Rally: At noon, leaders from The Center as well as local, state and national officials will address festival attendees at the Greek Amphitheatre.
More Denver PrideFest activities can be found at The Center’s website:glbtcolorado.org/pridefest, facebook.com/DenverPrideFest, @COCenter.