After consulting with the Spokane Parks Department and Spokane Regional Health District about social-distancing requirements, Out Spokane has decided to move the annual Pride Parade and Rainbow Festival to online this weekend.
June, when organizers had hoped to march, marked 29 years of pride in Spokane.
“We hope that everyone takes away that even during a pandemic, the LGBTQ+ community is strong, determined, still providing happiness, joy, justice and support for our community and the community we live in,” Spokane Pride board treasurer Jonelle Polley said in an email on Wednesday. “We will keep marching!”
In previous years, the parade and Rainbow Festival have drawn upward of 20,000 attendees from across the Inland Northwest.
Participants might no longer be able to retrace the same downtown parade route they have been walking for years, but the spirit of the event, organizers hope, will still be represented in full force during the virtual event.
Out Spokane encourages would-be attendees to submit photos and videos – up to 30 seconds – of themselves, their families and their communities celebrating and expressing pride in their own socially distant ways. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. Friday.
From 7-8 p.m. Saturday, organizers will screen these submissions during a Facebook livestream.
Viewers also can connect to the “Pride stream” via Out Spokane’s YouTube channel Spokane Pride. Presenters and grand marshals, yet to be announced, will speak at intervals throughout the event.
In keeping with the spirit of last year’s theme, “To Thrive, Not Just Survive,” organizers have announced that Spokane Pride’s 2020 theme will be “We Keep Marching.”
On Sunday, pride weekend will continue with a drive-thru fundraiser at the Spokane Arena. From 11 a.m.-5 p.m., attendees will be able to choose from a selection of pride gear, including masks, flags, buttons and other themed items.
For more information, visit outspokane.org.
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