Boulder shows its rainbow stripes at Boulder Pridefest

Boulder Pridefest. Sept. 9, 2018. (Anna Haynes/CU Independent)

Out Boulder County joined forces with Seagate PRIDE! to host its annual Boulder Pridefest Sunday in Central Park.

Founded in 1994, Out is a group that educates, supports and advocates for Boulder County’s LGBTQ community. Seagate PRIDE!  is a new resource group for LGBTQ employees of Seagate Technology.

Eclectic band Cat Jerky began the festivities on the main stage, followed by drag king troupe Mile High KINGdom. The kings opened with a group performance of the songs “Macho Man” and “YMCA,” followed by individual performances from each member.

From left to right: Drag kings Oliver Holes, Simon Paul, Styler and Shane Knyte perform on the main stage. Sept. 9, 2018. (Anna Haynes/CU Independent)

Robin MacKinnon, founder of Mile High KINGdom, started the troupe three years ago after noticing the lack of representation of drag kings in the drag community.

“I’m not gonna stop until we have drag kings booked at every show in this state,” MacKinnon said.

The kings were followed by drag queens Bella C Le Cher, Arial Ari Staxx and Electra Dupri. With the queens came local Brazilian dance school Samba Colorado. The queens strutted through the crowd, collecting fistfuls of tips, and performers from Samba Colorado danced rhythmically to an intricate drum routine.

Compared to the nearby Denver Pridefest held each June, which saw roughly 385,000 attendees in 2017, Boulder Pride is a quaint celebration.

“I like the energy from all 50 of you,” host Debbie Scheer joked from the main stage.

The event accommodated dozens of organizations. It saw large corporations like Google and Bank of America, as well as local organizations like Proto’s Pizzeria Napoletana and the Rocky Mountain Leather Alliance.

Rocky Mountain Leather Alliance’s booth sports a bound teddy bear. Sept. 9, 2018 (Anna Haynes/CU Independent)

At Out Boulder County’s own booth, they encouraged LGBTQ citizens to fill out an LGBTQ Community Assessment Survey. The survey, funded by the City of Boulder, aims to help Out better understand where its resources should be directed

On the main stage, The New Family Recipe performed a cover of “Queen” by solo artist Perfume Genius. Lead singer, Chey Rawhoof, said Perfume Genius’ album was barred from sale in Walmart because its album cover featured an image of two men kissing, which contradicted Walmart’s “family values.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Perfume Genius responded. “Here’s my art.”

The main stage celebration then ended with The B-52’s tribute band Hey, Lady! They performed as the festival died down and carried on for an hour after it officially ended. Enthusiastic dancers and hula hoopers formed a crowd at the foot of the stage.

During the introduction of the song “Planet Claire”, vocalist Steven Blasinsky held up a walkie-talkie.

“Are you there, Boulder?” he asked. “Come with us to a planet where all lifestyles are accepted.”

From left to right: John Britton, Brian Kauffman, Deb Britton, Tim Powell and Steven Blasinsky close out the show. Sept. 9, 2018. (Anna Haynes/CU Independent)

“I feel like this is the best after-party ever,” Blasinsky said.

Contact CU Independent news writer Anna Haynes at anna.haynes@colorado.edu.

Anna Haynes

Staff Writer

Anna Haynes is a freshman journalism and political science major at CU Boulder. She is interested in LGBTQ issues as well as diversity on campus and in Boulder.

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