Equality Springfield will host its annual Pride celebration from June 23-25 with a weekend full of events for the community.
Vice President of Equality Springfield Kyle Scott said this is the second year that Springfield Pride festivities have gone throughout the entire weekend to not only increase representation but to provide something for everyone in the community to do.
“Well, I think just representation and visibility in our area, especially since it’s a more conservative area, and having the options to have a variety of things for people in the community to do,” Scott said.
He said Equality Springfield plans a variety of events.
“June’s a very hot month and if you can’t come outside to the festival because it’s too warm, you can come to the library where its air conditioned, you can come to drag brunch,” Scott said. “So we wanted to offer a variety of events to kind of cater to as many people in the community as possible.”
The festivities will start Friday, June 25, with a partnership between Equality Springfield and the Clark County Public Library to host author Raechel Anne Jolie, who will present a talk and answer questions about her book “Rust Belt Femme.”
Later that day, there will be a silent disco block party at 6 p.m., at COhatch the Market, where individuals can rent headphones for $5 and enjoy food and beverages.
The Saturday, June 24, festivities will begin at noon with a Pride festival in downtown Springfield in the City Hall Plaza area. There will be live performances, food and local vendors, a kid’s area and mental health and health resources.
Later in the evening, Mother Stewart’s Brewing will host an after-party that will feature a drag show.
On Sunday, June 25, there will be a drag brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Springfield. Tickets for adults are $35 and tickets for children under 12 are $20. The last day to buy tickets is June 11.
“We don’t really have a specific LGBTQ+ bar in Springfield or the surrounding areas, so an opportunity to see a drag show, illusionists and queer-specific art, I think that’s something individuals can look forward to,” Scott said.
Scott said recent legislation targeting LGBTQ+ communities across the country was one of the main driving forces on why Equality Springfield wanted to continue to grow and have more events to increase the visibility.
“Drag culture and drag shows are at the forefront of our pride, so the feature at our festival is drag shows, the feature at the pride brunch is a drag show, so we’re really highlighting that, we’re kind of leaning into that and not stepping away from it,” Scott said.
With the variety of activities planned for Equality Springfield’s Pride weekend, they are still looking for volunteers, and it is not too late to register to become a vendor.
“We have tons planned, there’s something for everyone,” Scott said.