Utah Pride Festival
The Utah Pride Festival is a festival held in downtown Salt Lake City in June celebrating Utah's diversity and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. The event is a program of the Utah Pride Center, and includes the state's second-largest parade, after the Days of '47 Parade.
Participation in the festival cuts across a broad spectrum of Utahns. Past speakers during the celebration have ranged from Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, who was quoted in support of same sex marriage, to Utah Rep. Jackie Biskupski, the state's first openly lesbian legislator.
The festival's last day begins with the parade. Participants include Mayor Ralph Becker, County Mayor Ben McAdams, a group of uniformed Boy Scouts, the largest group Mormons Building Bridges, Mormons for Equality, the Provo Pride Council, and Weber State University. Over 140 organizations, sponsors, and religious groups participate. A large rainbow flag fills the street at the back of the parade.
The festival began in 1977 when the Salt Lake Coalition for Human Rights sponsored a three-day conference. Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons (then called Gay Mormons United) was founded during this conference, on June 11. The 1978 keynote speakers were David Kopay, the first NFL player to come out of the closet, and U.S. Air Force Sgt. Leonard Matlovich, an ex-Mormon who was the first openly gay person to appear on the cover of Time magazine.
The first Pride parade in the state was created in 1990 and included a procession of 270. In 1991, the Utah Stonewall Center opened and Pride festivities moved to the Salt Lake County Fairgrounds in Murray, Utah. The parade attracted twice as many participants along with opposition by members of the Aryan Nation. The Pride Day Art Expo and Competition was created to award local artists with its Lesbian and Gay Pride Art Award and the Mapplethorpe Award.
In 2004, an estimated 50,000 people attended, the largest since the festival began. However, in 2005, the first year in which an admission was charged, attendance at the festival was 15,000 to 20,000. Some have attributed this decline to patrons not wanting to pay for admission to the festival. Festival organizers argued that it was the first year in which an accurate method of counting the attendance was employed and that the numbers did not reflect a drop in attendance.
In 2014, Mayor Ralph Becker threw a private wedding reception for couples whose marriages he performed on the first day same-sex marriage became legal in Utah.
|Year||Dates||Festival name||Theme||Grand Marshal||Estimated attendance|
|May 1974||Beer Bust Kegger|
|1975||June 1||Gay Freedom Day|
|1976||Memorial Day Kegger|
|1977||June 10–12||Human Rights||400|
|1978||June||Pride Day||Leonard Matlovich, David Kopay|
|1990||Pride Day||Look to the Future||Dr. Kristen Ries|
|1992||Pride Day||Jess Hawk Oakenstar|
|1994||Stonewall: Twenty-five Years Remembered, Twenty-five Years of Progress||4000|
|1996||Sunday, June 9||Pride Day||Pride... Without Borders||Chastity Bono|
|2000||May||Utah Pride Day||A New Era of Pride||Rep Jackie Biskupski|
|2001||June 7–10||Utah Pride||Embracing Diversity|
|2002||June 9||Utah Pride Day||Unity in the Community- Change From Within||Alicia Suazo|
|2003||Be Yourself Out Loud|
|2004||June 11–13||Utah Pride||Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!||Bruce Bastian||50,000|
|2005||June 8–12||Utah Pride||Equal Rights. No More. No Less.||15,000 - 20,000|
|2006||June 1–4||Utah Pride Week||Pride, Not Prejudice||Boyer Jarvis, Ph.D||20,000|
|2007||June 1–3||Utah Pride Days||United for Equality||John Amaechi|
|2008||June 6–8||Utah Pride||Come Together||Ralph Becker|
|2009||June 5–7||Utah Pride Festival||Pride. Voice. Action.||20,000|
|2010||June 4–6||Utah Pride Festival||Our History, Our Future||25,000|
|2011||June 3–5||Utah Pride Festival||Live. Love. Pride.||Roseanne Barr||28,000|
|2012||June 1–3||Utah Pride Festival||Changing Hearts and Lives||Dustin Lance Black|
|2013||May 30 - June 2||Utah Pride Festival||Gotta Be Real-Equality||David Testo||35,000|
|2014||June 5 - June 8||Utah Pride Festival||Love Equals Love||The Three Couples from Utah's Marriage Equality Case: Laurie Wood and Kody Partridge, Moudi Sbeity and Derek Kitchen, Kate Call and Karen Archer|
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