By PERRIS LARSON, contributing writer
Published May 24, 2023
Snohomish Pride on June 3 to have parade
SNOHOMISH — On June 3, Snohomish will host its first annual Pride Festival, consisting of local vendors, cabaret, face painting, Pride pop-ups and a parade.
Sponsored by the Historic Downtown Snohomish Association, the Pride Festival will kick off at 10 a.m. with a parade down First Street. For most of the day there will be vendors who are a part of the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities, as well as nonprofit organizations. After a wine walk, face painting and art for the kids, Rainbow Bingo, the festival will finish off the night with a Karaoke Pride After Party at Piccadilly Circus.
Planning the festival spanned the course of four months, with the help of organizers James Bernston, who is helping with organizing the pop-ups for the event, and Carter Luna, who is orchestrating the Queer Cabaret performance at the Carnegie which has already sold out of tickets.
Luna and Bernston hope that the festival could launch more Pride events in Snohomish.
“When we hosted our first volunteer meeting, 30 plus people packed in a small room. I think everyone was just so excited pride was happening in Snohomish,” Bernston said. “I think a lot of us in the community have been dreaming of a Pride event for years. It was due time.”
For the day of the festival, there will be between 50 to 100 volunteers working the event.
“The first support we got was from local businesses around Snohomish. They started sponsoring and letting us know of their excitement and encouragement of the event,” Luna said.
To name a few, sponsors of the event include: Radicle Roots Farm, Looking Glass Coffee, Spada Farmhouse Brewery, Stargazer Records, Farmer Frog, Mariposa Day Spa, Clearview Animal Hospital, Snohomish Lions Club and Art Spot Studio.
Since this is the first Pride event to take place in Snohomish, it holds a lot of anticipation and excitement for the community, especially those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. There has been so much excitement for the festival, as a result 100 tickets were available for the 21+ cabaret performance, but sold out online within two days. People can still purchase tickets for the wine walk HDSA is hosting.
Bernston and Luna’s goal for the event is to create a welcoming and open space where others can find community.
“There are a lot of queer people in our town, and we are not able to be visible very often,” Bernston said.
A few have voiced negative opinions.
According to Shari Ireton, the city’s director of community engagement and strategic initiative, “We have had a few people who have wanted to express concern and dislike of having this event.”
“I think negative comments just highlight why our town needs Pride,” Bernston said.
Bernston also believes it will be an encouraging event for kids in Snohomish who identify as LGBTQ+, hoping that the festival will remind these kids that they do have a community even though they may feel alone at times.
For the LGBTQ+ community in Snohomish, the festival is an opportunity to come together for a day of fun and feel supported.
“The other LGBTQ+ people that often probably feel alone, they can come to an event and see each other. It is a chance to validate our existence and just have a good day,” Luna said.
After the first Gay Pride March took place in June 1970, Pride Month did not become federally official until 1999. Since then, June has been recognized as Pride Month which includes commemorating those who fought for gay rights during the Stonewall Riots in 1969.
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