Capital City Pride

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Capital City Pride
GenreLGBT festival
Location(s)Olympia, Washington
AreaSouth Puget Sound, Washington

Capital City Pride in Olympia, Washington is a non-profit organization that hosts a season of events culminating with the two-day Capital City Pride festival, and a parade. The festival celebrates the region's LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community. The Pride festival is held at Sylvester Park in downtown Olympia. Traditionally, The Capital City Pride parade and festival was held on a Saturday, but was moved to Sunday in 2007. In 2010, the festival grew to two full days.

Capital City Pride began as a grass roots organization in 1991. By 2000, it began to operate under the auspices of the Olympia Rainbow Center while operating as an independent group with a committee and elected officers. The organization expanded their marketing and sponsorship work in 2007 and 2008.

The Olympia Pride festival and rally are hosted to celebrate the LGBT communities; to honor civil rights gains in the past year and to highlight youth activists and honor long-time activists for their commitments. Entertainment and the pride parade are highlights of the day. The Olympia Pride festival has grown over the years and now approximately 12,000 to 15,000 people attend the contemporary pride festivals. The festival is funded through private fundraising and sponsorship, grants and tourism promotion funds.

The organization annual budget is approximately $40,000.


  • History of Pride Pride Day has become the cultural celebration of LGBT communities around the world. Inspired as a commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising which gave rise to the modern LGBT rights movement, Pride celebrations occur in all major cities and most smaller communities throughout the United States as well as many countries across the globe. According to Interpride, the international association of Pride Festival organizers, Pride celebrations affect more LGBT people than any other LGBT organization or event.
  • Small Town Pride Prior to 1990, Pride Parades were held in the relative safety of large cities. In 1991, Olympia become the first small town outside of Seattle to host a Pride event. A group of Olympia-based activists decided it was time to bring Pride home to the small communities where glbt people live, work and raise their families. Until then, GLBT people traveled hundreds of miles to celebrate Pride in the safety of large cities like Seattle or San Francisco. This initial group included Evergreen students Vikki Marinelli, Tod Streater, Kelly Hawk and Judith Samuels and community-based people Sid Evans and Michael Murphy, and Anna Schlecht. Together, their efforts produced the first Olympia Pride March that lead from Marathon Park and ended with a rally at the State Capital, drawing a crowd of over 300 people.

The 1992 Pride Rally and march were organized by a new group of organizers whose efforts were chronicled in a documentary titled, "Small Town Pride" produced by Olympia-based film maker Marilyn Freeman. By 1993, Capital City Pride was founded with the sole purpose of hosting the annual Pride events.

The executive committee consists of a president, which the group refers to as chair, vice president, referred to as co-chair, treasurer (business manager) and secretary.

In 2016, the annual Pride Parade in downtown Olympia drew over 20,000 spectators, many of whom were first-time attendees who came to show their support of the LGBT community following the Orlando massacre.


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