Celebration returns to Salida

Once again Salidans will celebrate respect for diversity when they “get their purple on” to honor the Lesbian Bisexual Gay Transgender Queer Intersexual Asexual community for the second annual Ark Valley Pride Week, May 28 to June 4.

The weeklong event is organized by volunteers from not only the LGBTQIA community themselves, but also by community allies, with the goal of fostering community and celebrating diversity.

Get Ready. Gather with other community members on Tuesday, May 29, from 6:30-8 p.m. for your chance to gather items of clothing, costumes, bikes, wagons, stilts and more and meet at Box of Bubbles to use the community art supply closet to transform yourself in advance of the parade.

Planned Parenthood Purple People Powered Pride Parade. Meet at Alpine Park at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, June 2, donned in your best parade finery to walk alongside other LGBTQIA supporters. Or gather along F Street between Fourth and Sackett streets by 11:30 a.m. to watch and celebrate. Last year, more than 400 community members came together to walk in the parade. The goal for 2018 is to double that number via support from local organizations and participants. The parade will end in Riverside Park for a picnic. Organizers are asking that signs carried in the parade be inclusive, positive and respectful of others – keeping in mind that this is a family friendly event.

Pride Picnic. This event on Saturday, June 2, is from noon to 4 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Community members are invited to pack a picnic lunch to share in the park; cookies and snacks will be provided. Games will be coordinated by several nonprofit partners for the event and area outdoors companies will be on-site to offer and book a variety of trips in the area over the weekend. The afternoon will also include inspirational speakers and a DJ in the park.

Youth After Party. New this year, the youth party at Fun Street Family Arcade on Saturday, June 2, from 6 to 10 p.m. is free and open to the public. The all-ages event will include food, drink, music and a DJ dance party with DJ Maniac Magee.

Ark Valley Pride After Party. Wood’s High Mountain Distillery will host this year’s annual after-party on June 2 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Barkeeps will create a number of unique cocktails for the evening. DJ Quantum Frequency will also be pumping the music for an epic dance-party.

Drag Brunch. Local celebrities and drag queen fans will serve brunch at Seasons Cafe on Sunday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. dressed in drag. Tips received will fund LGBTQIA programs in the Ark Valley. Tickets are $20 per adult and $10 for kids under 12. Five dollars from every ticket sold for the brunch will be donated to local youth programs. There are three seatings times available and reservations are recommended. Servers are still needed for this event.

Ark Valley Tea Dance. Put on your favorite flannel shirt and swing by Soulcraft Brewery on Sunday, June 3, between 5 and 10 p.m. for happy hour, with a LGBTQIA-style Tea Dance. DJ Three Trees will be on-site cranking out the tunes, and 20-percent of sales will support youth programs in the Ark Valley.

Movie Screening and Discussion. Free movie Mondays on June 4 at the SteamPlant will feature a showing of the film, “The Life & Death of Marsha P. Johnson,” honoring the legendary activist. Her death remains a mystery, and documentarian David France created the film to draw attention to the continuing battle by the LGBTQIA community to receive justice.

Pride Week is organized by the Partnership for Community Action at the Sellar’s Project Space. The PfCA aims to “create environments where the community can express their shared voice” through “events, projects and programs that are accessible and inclusive in an effort to inspire social change.” For more information, visit arkvalleypride.com or goPfCA.com.