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PrideFest is an annual Gay pride event held each June in Denver, Colorado. PrideFest honors the culture and heritage of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the State of Colorado. The annual event draws an estimated 200,000 spectators to downtown Denver and is presented by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Colorado (GLBTCCC), or 'The Center'. This event consists of a parade, a rally and a street fair at Civic Center Park. The first Denver PrideFest occurred in 1976.
PrideFest generally occurs throughout a weekend in late June. Celebrations at local establishments begin the week of PrideFest, with a conclusion of the entire celebration the following Sunday. The Sunday celebration of PrideFest week has gotten so large that it now begins on Saturday. Saturday was designed to accommodate the growing crowds and offer a time when families could join in. Colfax Avenue is closed for the parade, from Franklin Street west to Broadway. After the parade, the roads surrounding Civic Center Park (Broadway, the "Colfax Curve", Bannock, and 14th Avenue Parkway) remain closed during the rally and street fair. Vendors sell a variety of products such as homemade jewelry, stained glass, apparel, food and services. Several companies and organizations also rent booths to show their support for Denver's and Colorado's GLBT community. Entertainment includes up to four different stages, offering local and nationally known performers. The festival comes to a close in the early evening. Roads are reopened about an hour after cleanup.
The PrideFest parade generally begins at 9:30am. Floats are built by various companies and organizations that support LGBT rights. In 2011, more than 116 companies and organizations participated. The parade staging location is at Cheesman Park in Denver's gay village, the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The parade goes north two blocks to Colfax Avenue, then west toward downtown for about a mile, ending at Civic Center Park at Broadway and Colfax.
Attendees and Constituents
Denver's PrideFest has historically been host to many media and political agents who support the LGBT community. Some notable past attendees:
- Current Colorado Governor and former Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper (Hickenlooper also officially endorses the Festival, and marches every year).
- Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb
- Radio DJ Jamie White (non-local)
- Radio DJ's "Larry Ulibarri, Kendall and Kathy" from KS107.5
- Denver City Council members
- Tiffany (American singer) - American Singer
- Denver Gay Men's Chorus
- Dear Marsha
- Tracy Edwards
- Daniel Lucio
- RoyalRush Dance Troupe (www.royalrush.com)
- Nicole Torres and the Affiliates