Durango, are you ready to party?
Pride weekend is this weekend, and the Four Corners Alliance for Diversity has a full schedule of events planned, said Brian Joy, the Alliance’s chairperson.
This year’s celebration kicked off Thursday night with Pride Movie Night. On the screen at Animas City Theatre will be 1994’s “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.” The weekend will include a happy hour and afterparty on Friday; Pride parade, festival and dance (and afterparty) on Saturday; and Pride Drag Brunch on Sunday. The brunch, “I Don’t Know Her: The Mariah Carey Drag Brunch,” will be held at Olde Tymer’s Cafe. Hosted by Miss Dragrango 2022, Vivica Validation, the show will include performances by Sister Phyllis, Aluna Del Rey (Miss Dragrango 2018) and others. There will also be a special appearance by RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Kalorie Karbdashian.
One difference with this year’s celebration is the timing. Generally, Pride is celebrated in June, but Joy said it seemed better to wait until the end of the summer when the event doesn’t have to compete with all of the other summer things going on and the fact that people tend to leave town for the summer and would miss out on the celebration.
“It’s hard to find a good weekend, all the big cities are doing their Pride, so it’s a competition,” he said. “Especially in a college town, we don’t get to include the whole community because the college kids are gone. High school organizations and school organizations that have their own little organizations and clubs, they don’t get to be involved with it. So it doesn’t become the community event that it should be. So we chose to move it to September.”
Joy said that the Alliance is working on building partnerships with community events.
“One thing that I’m excited about is that the San Juan Public Health Department will have the COVID-19 bus there the day of the festival. And they will also have the monkeypox vaccine available,” he said. (Monkeypox vaccines will be available for eligible people.)
For Joy, Pride weekend is a lot more than just a weekend of fun – it’s about bringing the community together, especially given changes society has seen over the course of the past year.
“We’ve seen a lot of things change this year – you know, women’s rights kind of being tackled this year. And there are several individuals out there that would like to see other things tacked on and I think it’s very important that we come together and we celebrate that diversity that we all bring,” he said. “One thing I was very adamant about when I took over the board was that we had a very wide mix of members on the board. So we have straight people on the board and gay, lesbian – we really wanted a wide representation. Because it’s about all of us. Unfortunately, I feel like we could turn a corner and go, ‘Wow, I just had a right taken away from me that I never in my life would have thought about that.’
“I just think it’s important that we come together, and we are so blessed to live in a community that is a diverse community, but it’s very loving and receiving.”
And while Pride is front and center for the next few days, the fun will continue throughout the year: Joy said the Alliance is already planning its Halloween dance and working on Winter Pride.
Pride Kick Off, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Lola’s Place, 725 East Second Ave. Free for all ages. Food trucks and bar available.
Pride Host Bar, 9 p.m. to close, Starlight Lounge, 937 Main Ave. Ages 21 and older. Drinks, music, dance and all around fun. Drinks and bar food will be available for purchase.
Pride Parade, 2-3 p.m., 500 block of Main Avenue to Buckley Park. Free event for all ages. This year will be the first full parade with floats and performers.
Pride Festival, 3-7 p.m., Buckley Park, 1250 Main Ave. Free for all ages. (There will be an adult-only space.) Kids’ activities, food booths, adult beverages, music and special guest, RuPaul’s drag contestant, Kalorie Karbdashian. Master of Ceremonies is Sister Phyliss Withe-Litadays.
Pride Dance, 7-10 p.m., Buckley Park, 1250 Main Ave. Free event for all ages.
Pride After Party, 10 p.m. to close, Starlight Lounge; 937 Main Ave. Ages 21 and older.
Pride Brunch, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Olde Tymer’s Cafe, 1000 Main Ave. All ages, please tip performers. Durango Pride and Vivica Validation invite you to “I Don’t Know Her: The Mariah Carey Drag Brunch,” hosted by Vivica Validation and featuring a cast of local favorites.
For more information, visit durangopride.com.