The Utah Pride Center announced that Pride Days 2020 will kick off May 29th with the fifth annual Pride Spectacular Gala and concludes with the 45th annual Utah Pride Festival on June 6 and 7 and the 30th annual Utah Pride Parade the morning of June 7.
The 2020 theme is Love On, Live On, which organizers say emphasizes the need for more love towards our LGBTQ+ communities and aims to continue conversations about what it means to live on and thrive.
“Love On, Live On encourages us all to take better care of our individual health and our planet so future generations can continue the fight for equality,” Hillary McDaniel, Utah Pride Center’s community events director, said in a statement.
The Utah Pride Parade is celebrating its 30th year. Utah’s first march featured 270 people who walked from the steps of the Utah State Capitol down Main Street. Over the years the parade has grown to over 60,000 spectators and participants.
This growth has prompted the Utah Pride Center to find ways to make the parade more sustainable and have lower impacts on the environment, especially air quality. The Parade now has a goal to produce its first emissions-free parade, encouraging participants to prioritize electric vehicles, walking groups, and other zero-emissions options. If zero-emissions options are not available, there is an opportunity to offset parade vehicle emissions by donating to Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall’s 1,000 Trees campaign at treeslc.org.
“If we can imagine an emissions-free parade, we can imagine an emissions-free world,” McDaniel said.
The initiative to reduce emissions was spurred by concerns over air quality in the Salt Lake Valley, the city government’s progressive green initiatives, and the Utah Pride Center’s more broad goal to increase sustainability throughout Pride weekend.
“Year after year we have continued to find ways to make our Pride Days events more sustainable. This year we are asking our community partners to get creative and see what they can do with less impact on local air quality,” said Rob Moolman, Utah Pride Center Executive Director. “Our parade is a major downtown event, yet small in the grand scheme of things. We hope this effort inspires others to start thinking about little changes they can make that will benefit the health and wellness of us all.”
Georgie Corkery, the event’s sustainability director, says sustainability is very much a part of the fight for full equality.
“Our world is facing a global climate crisis, and all of us are affected by it, including the LGBTQ+ community,” Corkery explained. “Environmental injustice breeds social injustice, and the Utah Pride Center is at the forefront of fighting for social justice. This year at the 2020 Utah Pride Festival, we strive to strengthen the fight for environmental justice as well.”
The Festival also plans to continue its efforts to reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill, to encourage festival-goers to bring their own reusable water bottles, to incentivize public transportation or bicycles to travel to and from the Festival, and to provide free recycling education on Festival grounds.
Utah Pride Days is the Utah Pride Center’s largest fundraiser of the year featuring a broad spectrum of activities and entertainment. This year’s celebration will include events throughout the months of May and June in partnership with community organizations, local businesses, and Center programs.
Applications are now open for vendor booths, parade participants, food vendors, and local entertainers. Pride Spectacular tickets & tables are on sale now at utahpridecenter.org. Festival tickets will be available online on Friday, March 6.
The Festival is presented by Young Automotive and Mark Miller Subaru and the Utah Pride Parade is presented by Intermountain Healthcare and SelectHealth. Information on becoming a sponsor can be found here. (PDF file)
The Festival is also seeking volunteers. Find information here.
More information about Utah Pride Days can be found at utahpridecenter.org/festival