From June 15 to June 16, Denver saw thousands gather in Civic Center Park for the 44th annual PrideFest celebration. Denver PrideFest is the biggest Pride celebration in Colorado, drawing 425,000 attendees and 415 volunteers in 2018.
This year’s event was estimated to have over 500,000 people in attendance, with a record 240 float entries.
The center stage performances began Saturday at noon with Wheelchair Sports Camp, an eclectic hip hop group led by Denver mayoral candidate Kalyn Rose Heffernan, whose platform includes a pledge to “make more art.”
Also taking center stage Saturday was Denver-based drag queen Jessica L’Whor with her show “$ex Sells.” L’Whor has performed at the University of Colorado Boulder numerous times, hosting Drag Bingo and CU’s annual drag show.
The festival featured an art installation commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a pivotal moment for the LGBTQ+ community in the United States. The installation by Lonnie Hanzon entitled “Stonewall 50: Progress and Reflection” remembered the 1969 events which shook the LGBTQ+ community.
During the celebration, a Pride flag was displayed in front of the Colorado Capitol for the first time thanks to Gov. Jared Polis, the first openly gay governor in the U.S.
Just like every year, Denver PrideFest gave hundreds of thousands of attendees a temporary retreat from the struggles of being LGBTQ+ and acted as an unconditional celebration of love.
Contact CU Independent Senior News Editor Anna Haynes at email@example.com.