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Following Monday’s announcement by the D.C. Mayor’s Office that capacity restrictions in the District of Columbia will be fully lifted on Friday, June 11, the Capital Pride Alliance made its own announcement Wednesday afternoon, cementing its plans for what, in normal times, traditionally would be the weekend of the Capital Pride Parade and Festival and Concert.
Replacement, scaled-back events, with an eye toward strong, personalized community involvement, had already been formulated to replace Saturday’s usually massive Pride Parade and Sunday’s LGBTQ Festival, traditionally held on Pennsylvania Avenue and drawing up to 200,000 celebrants. But Mayor Muriel Bowser’s announcement of D.C.’s full reopening changed things, allowing for a greater expansion of the festivities — but with care.
“Many folks…are eager to be social and communal again,” says Capital Pride Executive Director Ryan Bos. “And we are very excited about the announcement, but also cautious in regards to how we look to scale up our planned events for June.
“We were in the midst of announcing some key celebrations for what would be the traditional Pride weekend. But we have taken some extra time in light of the mayor’s announcement to look at our current schedule and see where we can logistically and peaceably scale up, to provide space for our community to come together the way they feel most comfortable.”
Currently, Capital Pride’s events include:
Paint the Town Colorful with Pride is slated to run the full month of June and encourages “residents, businesses, and organizations to decorate their most public-facing spaces” to show their LGBTQ Pride.
“At a minimum, just fly a Pride Flag,” says Bos. “But we are encouraging folks to go above and beyond to really show their Pride and let everyone know that we are here. We want to show how colorful the nation’s capital can be.”
“Paint the Town” will run in conjunction with a month-long fundraising campaign to support the newly developed “GivePride365 Fund,” designed to benefit LGBTQ charities in DMV region. Registration is required for “Paint the Town.” More information can be found here.
The Colorful Capital Pridemobile Parade, on Saturday, June 12, from 3 to 6 p.m., is designed to replace Saturday’s traditional, large-scale procession with a “unique mobile parade” that will essentially deliver itself to the doors of D.C.’s residents. It will feature an official Pridemobile Trolly as well as a colorful array of automobiles decorated by registered organizations and businesses.
“We will likely have multiple caravans going throughout the city and then potentially converge in one area,” says Bos, adding that the parade will “be following traffic laws, and we will not be closing down any roads.”
While an official route has yet to be determined, it will likely include several of the city’s landmark LGBTQ neighborhoods, such as Dupont and Logan Circles, as well as iconic D.C. landmarks, such as the U.S. Capitol. Bos says that neighborhoods who participate with gusto in the “Paint the Town” event will be given preference when the final route is planned. More information can be found here.
The Capital Pride Honors, an annual reception in which LGBTQ citizens of note are celebrated, will be held on Friday, June 11. Originally planned as a “hybrid” event, with a limited in-person gathering and an accompanying online live stream, Bos notes that the Mayor’s order allows for a much larger in-person celebration, and the Capital Pride Alliance will likely take advantage of that to boost attendance.
“We have not chosen the location yet,” he says. “Hopefully in the next week or two, we can announce the location and ticket availability.” Nominations for honorees are being accepted through Friday, May 14. More information can be found here.
A Taste of Pride Brunch will fall on scheduled for Sunday, June 13. An event modeled after Food & Friends highly successful Dining Out for Life fundraiser, it will feature special food items, Pride drink specials, and entertainment at various dining establishments around town yet to be announced.
“Brunch will be a select group of restaurants who have chosen to participate at what we’re calling the activist level,” says Bos. “After we get them confirmed, community members will be encouraged to make reservations.” Check for updates here.
While most of the above events are free to the public, the Capital Pride Alliance is hoping to “raise awareness and resources for its newly formed GivePride365 Fund, benefiting local LGBTQ charities throughout the region,” as well as a recently launched Pride365 Shop, created to “support local LGBTQ businesses and organizations.”
For the most current updates on Capital Pride’s June events, visit www.CapitalPride.org/celebration.
Additional reporting by Randy Shulman
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