Pride continues with Vancouver’s Saturday in the Park

Our little neighbor to the north really isn’t so little anymore, and it’s a pretty decent place to be a gay person, even if they did recently lose their only gay bar (hey, we lost our only lesbian bar). This weekend Vancouver, Washington celebrates their Gay Pride with Saturday in the Park.

A decidedly different approach than the debaucherous Prides of most cities, VanWa’s celebration begins with Lyle’s Miles” 5k run and bills itself as the only family friendly Gay Pride celebration in existence. The annual charity walk/run goes through downtown Vancouver to raise money for Cascade AIDS Project, Martha’s Pantry and Global Partners for Development. The non-competitive walk/run event starts at 8:30am and is open to all.

Now running isn’t fun for me so I’d rather stand and fight for my pride, and I think it’s a stretch to call themselves America’s only family friendly Pride, as I saw hordes of gay and lesbian parents, children and babies all over Portland Pride, but you get the gist. It’s chill. It’s grown up. It’s across the river.

The picnic atmosphere should be perfect for a Prideful lazy summer day of entertainment, probably nicer than our own cloudy Pride. Esther Short Park used to be a place where drug dealers and junkies reigned, now it’s swarming with gay ‘couverites and kiddos.The day will be hosted by comedienne Belinda Carroll and other highlights include:

…musical and cultural performances, community groups and non- profit organizations, supportive local businesses, games and activities for all ages, a health and wellness center, food booths and a beer garden for adults.

Saturday in the Park kicks off at 11am with introductions by Tom Tucker and the national anthem, sung by Mr. Gay Vancouver Brian Everest.

The entertainment roster for Saturday in the Park will be headlined by comedian Belinda Carroll, the event’s host for the day. Performers include The Shannon Tower Band bringing folk/rock, the queer pop/punk quartet Kiss Kill, The North Bank’s own Lipz Cabaret with TD King, Hot Chocolate, Vancouver singer-songwriter Christi Mangner, and hip- hop headliners from NorthNext Entertainment. Hosts throughout the day include some of the most entertaining drag performers in the Vancouver-PDX region, including Zora Phoenix, Chilibean with Fabulanzaa, Rhea Range and Marcy Kraft, and Kertie and Sheila DuPont.

The day goes from 11 to 5, with a breakdown of the events below.

Opening Ceremonies and Guest Speakers
Lyle’s Myles Conclusions and Guest Speakers
The Shannon Tower Band
Kiss Kill
Lipz Cabaret with TD King
Hot Chocolate
Christi Mangner
Community Pride Awards and Raffle
NorthNext Entertainment

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