It may be a little later than usual, but Durango’s about to get its Pride on.
And after a year of having to hold Pride events online because of the coronavirus pandemic, people are ready to celebrate the LBGTQ community in person, said Kyle Finnell, events organizer with Durango Pride host Four Corners Alliance for Diversity.
“I think lots of people have been itching to get out and about and go socialize and congregate, and I think it’s just a wonderful time for us to get together as a community,” Finnell said. “We didn’t get to do a public Pride last year; we did a digital version on YouTube, and so I feel like everybody is just so ready to have some sense of normalcy.”
Finnell said the reason this year’s Pride was pushed back from June, which is traditionally Pride Month, to July was because of the uncertainty of COVID-19 and where regulations were headed when the Alliance began planning in the early spring. Finnell added that the move from June to July is something the Alliance may keep moving forward.
“We decided to move it to July, which I think we’re probably going to continue on with this in the future, there are so many Pride events going on – this way, we get to celebrate two months of Pride,” Finnell said. “We made the decision back in March/April that we should just go ahead and push it back because we were still at a point where things were closed and at half-occupancy. And so just to have a safe bet, we decided to go ahead and move it to July of this year.”
Along with the change on dates, there are new events to check out this year, including a Mini-Fest and Pride Float Meetup at Lake Nighthorse. And don’t forget the Talent Show and Dragrango, which were moved from their usual times in winter and March, respectively.
Pride Kick-Off: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Ska Brewing Co., 225 Girard St. (All ages).
Talent Show: 7 to 9:30 p.m., Durango Arts Center, 802 East Second Ave., table of four $100; or two seats $40 (18 and older). Tickets available online at https://bit.ly/3haOX5M.
Friday, July 16
Dragrango: 7 to 9:30 p.m., Powerhouse Science Center, 1333 Camino del Rio, table of four $125; or general admission $25 (18 and older). Tickets available online at https://bit.ly/3hpsv7X.
Saturday, July 17
Pride Brunch: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., El Moro Spirits and Tavern, 945 Main Ave. (All ages).
Pride Mini-Fest: noon to 5 p.m., 11th Street Station back patio, 1101 Main Ave., admission by donation (All ages).
Pride Dance: 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., The Garage, 121 W. Eighth St., $5 cover (21 and older).
Sunday, July 18
Pride Float Meetup: all day, Lake Nighthorse, $10 per vehicle entry (All ages).
But if you’re really looking forward to Dragrango and have been procrastinating buying your tickets, you’d better hurry, Finnell said, because not only is it sure to sell out, available tickets are already getting low.
“Dragrango is literally one of our biggest events all year. The talent show is typically held during Winter Pride. And Dragrango is typically held at the end of March. Because we didn’t get to host those events, we decided to just move them to Durango Pride this year. Dragrango is probably one of the biggest events we throw – everybody loves it; it’s the only drag pageant in the area,” Finnell said. “It’s always a big turnout, I think Durango really latches onto that one.”
Pride events start Wednesday at Ska Brewing, with the release of “House of Sultana” beer, a special collaboration between Ska and the Alliance for Pride. This is an all-ages event (except for the beer drinking, of course). Finnell said the Alliance wanted to incorporate more all-ages events this year so more people could participate.
Another all-ages event is the Mini-Fest, which will be held July 17 in the back patio of 11th Street Station. Along with speakers, and a drag hour, there will also be a dance. There’s no official ticketing for this, Finnell said, adding that the Alliance is asking for donations.
“That’s also a really big event,” Finnell said. “I’m excited about that one because it is all ages. I know a lot of parents in town really want to take their kids to go see the drag show – most of the drag shows are 18+ or 21. And for the Pride Mini-Fest, we will have a drag hour and it will be all ages, so I’m really excited for the Mini-Fest because a lot of the kids that don’t really get to see the drag scene here in Durango will get a chance to at least get a taste of what the drag scene is here in the area.”
Dedicating a week, a month – or more – to celebrating Pride in Durango is a vital way to help create pride in the local LGBTQ community and there’s an educational component as well, Finnell said.
“The events are important because other than Pride and the local drag event that’s hosted by the resident queen of Durango, Aria PettyOne, other than us and Aria, there really is – we don’t have a gay bar here in Durango, there’s no really events geared to our community,” Finnell said. “So Pride in Durango is important just to let everybody know that we do have a thriving community here. And to give them a safe space to express themselves without having to feel like, ‘Oh, there’s nothing but straight events,’ or events that don’t cater to our community or the education that comes along with our events – we always have Ryan Garcia, who is the board chair, he also works at Planned Parenthood; he’s always giving sexual education; we do have an anti-tobacco grant, so we do try to educate people there on ways to quit smoking or vaping.
“These events are very important, not only for the security of our community, but for the education I feel like lots of people are wanting to know.”
Finnell said the Alliance is actively looking for board members – check out 4calliancefordiversity.org/get-involved/volunteer for more information.