Pride in the Park celebrates local LGBTQ+ community on Saturday | News, Sports, Jobs

Pride in the Park celebrates local LGBTQ+ community on Saturday | News, Sports, Jobs
Pride in the Park celebrates local LGBTQ+ community on Saturday | News, Sports, Jobs

ATTACHED GRAPHIC – A poster for the upcoming Pride in the Park event taking place Saturday at West End Park in Marshalltown, hosted by Marshalltown LGBTQ+.

Yoga, live entertainment, children’s activities and a vendor market will set the scene for the first Marshalltown Pride in the Park, taking place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at West End Park.

The event is organized by Marshalltown LGBTQ+, founded by Taylor Bear, and aims to be a welcoming and inclusive space.

She said the group was founded in 2022 as a private online place for people to connect.

“There’s been a huge demand for events and opportunities to meet in the community,” she said. “Last year we just had such a great response when we hosted Happy Hour at Fiddle & Whistle and then did a couple of drag shows that were really well received and a lot of fun.”

Other clubs and events followed with requests to host a Pride event in the city.

“I work with some great people in the community and was referred to Geoff Hubbard from Marshalltown Parks and Rec. I sat down with Jeff and said, ‘Hey, do you think this is something we can bring to our community on a small scale to see how it goes?’ And he was so guiding and imparted as much knowledge as he had to me.”

West End Park was approved as the site. Hubbard said Parks and Rec looks forward to having one of its parks used for all kinds of special events.

“We hope people will come along and enjoy the stalls and entertainment planned for Saturday,” he said.

Bear added that she wants people to visit the shops in the 13th Street District and enjoy all that Marshalltown has to offer.

Last year the group held a drag show in Riverview Park, albeit on a smaller scale.

“We had to sell tickets and the capacity was limited, a little more private,” she added. “This event is free to enter and it feels more welcoming. Some Prides charge admission for these elaborate and pristine Prides, but for us, I just knew this would be funded by donations.”

The morning begins with yoga in the park, led by Heidi Draisey of Spirited Yoga & Wellness. Sign up at 8:15 a.m., class starts at 8:30 a.m.

“Yoga in the park already takes place there in the morning,” said Bear.

Immediately after the yoga, the Ecstatic Dance takes place, led by Tamra Rae from Light Steps, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Enjoy entertainment on the main stage from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., a vendor market open until 6 p.m., and a kids’ area from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Approximately 22 vendors and artisans will sell their wares and social/political organizations, including the Iowa LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, will be in attendance. The kids’ area includes a bounce house, face painting, and a sensory area.

PRIDEMANIA W/RuggedPro will take place at 12:00pm, followed by Remix Dance Academy at 1:00pm, musician Paige Clouse at 2:00pm and a fashion show at 4:00pm. Drag shows will take place throughout the day including performances by: Xander Lyon Frost, Hollywood Hope, Andromeda Renee Valentino, Isabella Kills Michaels, Matte Black, Lonika LaReese Knight, Dickey Wrecked Lyon, Werm, Infinity Dragon, Terra Byte Lyon, Giovanni Strong Michaels, Rory Phoenix Monroe and Amanita Girl, hosted by Hollywood Hope and Xander Lyon Frost.

“We really made sure everything was family friendly,” Bear said. “There will be a fashion show. Anyone can sign up for that. I’ll post that on the Facebook page so everyone can see even more details about the little things that happen throughout the day.”

The Pride After Party at Dave & Sally’s + The Cellar Door runs from 8pm until closing time.

“That’s going to be more of the 21-and-over crowd. It’s going to be in the space where we have our weekly happy hour at The Cellar Door,” Bear said. “We’re going to have an open stage drag show with a lot of the same artists that perform on the main stage during the day. The music will probably be a little less family-friendly and things like that, but just a way to really cap off the evening. Marshalltown doesn’t have a queer bar like some of our bigger cities in Iowa… there’s so much community building in these spaces, and it’s nice to see those generational friendships, there’s familial friendships, there’s just so much community and diversity, and I think that’s the beauty of this life, so I’m so excited to be able to bring something like that to Marshalltown.”

People are welcome to meet at Doo Dah’s for breakfast on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

For more information about the event or to become a volunteer or sponsor, message Marshalltown Lgbtq+ on Facebook or text Bear at: 641-840-2423.

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