With the Southern Utah Pride Festival less than three months away, members of the festival committee are working hard to make sure that this year’s pride festival among the red rocks is the best yet.
So far, said pride director Janine Isom, Southern Utah Pride Association, Inc. – the organization behind the festival – has held several fundraisers, including car washes, rummage sales and drag shows by Salt Lake City superstar queen Nova Starr and her girls. And, said Isom, that’s just the beginning.
“We have on the burner a 'Count Down to Dani!' slumber party where we will have the seasons of Tila Tequila on the little screen,” she said, referring to the last lesbian contestant on the MTV bisexual dating reality show A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila. Campbell will serve as the festival’s grand marshal. “Another one we are working on is a Scratch You Back auction where we will bid on various donated services received from the community” such as movie tickets, dinners made by a local chef, and sessions with local massage therapists.
The board members have also traveled widely to publicize the festival, Isom continued. So far they have attended or plan on attending pride events in Las Vegas and Long Beach, Calif., Cedar City’s Groovefest, Springdale’s Flute Festival and Springdale’s 4th of July celebration (held in the same park Pride will use this year). These events, the director explained, are particularly important for the organization of the festival.
“It was awesome to see 90 vendors [at the Flute Festival],” Isom said. “It provided us with some sound visuals for our lay out as our goal is to have 100 vendors. … Last year SUP had 1012 guests in attendance, this year it is our goal to host 5000 guest. We will be attending and enjoying the festivities in Springdale with close eye on what's happening behind the scenes. Talk about a dream event to learn from, right in the same spot, with a considerable increase to the population.”
So far, the only major hitch has been the cancellation of a fundraiser many in the organization were looking forward to: a Rocky Horror Picture Show screening and “shadow cast” performance (where actors play along with the movie). “We are not big enough yet to provide a show of good caliber that close to our Pride event,” Isom explained.
The next SUP fundraiser will be a masquerade party appropriately titled Mass-Queer-Aide at Southern Utah Pride sponsor Jazzy Java Coffee Shop (285 N Bluff St, St. George) on July 12 at 8:00 p.m. DJ Josh will spin tunes. Cost is a minimum $5 donation if in costume, $10 if not. SUPAI hopes to raise $40,000 from this event and, according to Isom, is currently $4,000 away from that goal.