LocalUtah Pride 2023

What’s new at this year’s Utah Pride Festival?

Utah Pride will once again take place the first weekend of June — May 31 to June 4. This year leaders went to the community to vote for the theme. The community chose “­Unapologetic” for this year’s event.

“Unapologetic to me means living in authenticity regardless of how the world views us. We are what we are, and we’re not taking no for an answer,” said Britt Martinez, Utah Pride Center adult programs manager, who came up with the winning theme. “This year, that’s exactly the message our community chose to represent our celebrations in June: being Unapologetic is coming out to celebrate our identities together free from fear and imposed standards, free to express our wholeness and beauty,” event leaders stated.

What’s New

“We are exceptionally excited to present a whole new Pride to the state of Utah,” said Gia Bianca Stephens, Director of Special Events and Operations. “New ideas, new concepts, fresh talent. Ninety percent of our headliners are coming from outside Utah, and it’s their debut in Utah. Pride has been a celebration for over 30 years, and we wanted to make sure we bring at least another 30 years of queer celebration.”

Utah Pride Live

“The first new event that happens is the Utah Pride Live. It is a gala-type event. The Center has never really taken a bite out of the gala pie before,” Stephens continued. “We’re trying to bring a bit of Hollywood to the Beehive State. We have some exceptional talent, including
Monét X Change of RuPaul’s Drag Race. We also have Brian Justin Crum, GSP, Dana Goldberg, and Ultra Naté — a House music legend. We are kicking things off in style for Utah Pride.

“This is an amazing opportunity for the people to have some fun and give back to the community,” added communications director Rosa Bandeirinha. “As you know, Utah Pride Center is a nonprofit, and we rely on donations to offer our daily free services.”

Opening Concert

“The next new thing we are bringing to our Pride lineup is the ­Opening ­Concert on Friday,” Stephens said. “I will be hosting the event alongside Whitney Rose of Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”

“This concert features an appearance by Icona Pop, a special appearance by Ultra Naté, Trixie Mattel of RuPaul’s Drag Race, DJ RafFa Mafra, and Anabel Englund.

Utah Pride Festival Entrance/Security

The world has gotten used to entering the Utah Pride Festival near the Salt Lake City Main Library’s main entrance. But this year, everyone must enter from the east end of Library Square at Third East at 450 South.

Part of the reason for the change is that everyone entering the event will go through metal detectors rather than being wanted.

“Using metal detectors will cut the time to get through the entrance line by two-thirds,” said Zeb Williams, Special Events Manager for Utah Pride.

Williams said that the grounds will be swept for weapons each night as well.

“I’m very proud that Pride is spending the money on extra security,” Williams said.

Utah Pride Parade Route

The Utah Pride Parade route has also changed. Those who have their favorite places along Second South will need to find new favorite places, as the parade now travels along First South.

Those in the parade will be staging on streets surrounding the Salt Palace Convention Center, funneling to the starting point of West Temple and First South. The Parade heads east to Fourth East, then south to Seventh South, and then west to Second East where the parade disbands.

Step-off time is still 10 a.m.

Drag Brunch

Saturday morning is Drag Brunch for those over 21 at Shades on State, 366 S. State St. Entertainers include Lawanda Jackson, Dextaci, Olivia Knowles, Tiffany Bonet, and KC Sunshine.
The event is so popular they had to add a second show

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