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Published on July 9th, 2015 | by Lili Nimlo

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So much Pride: Out in the Park and beyond

The Tacoma Pride Festival has expanded steadily over the years beyond the one-day celebration “Out In the Park” put on by the Rainbow Center. With organizers expecting around 25,000 guests this year, it’s no small deal. The event draws people from throughout Pierce County wanting to celebrate and show support for the community.

Celebrations will be kicked off with a flag-raising ceremony performed by Mayor Strickland, who will share some words about the significance of Pride in Tacoma. This event will take place in the Pantages Theater Lobby, 901 Broadway at 4:30.

Dario_OITP2014 (photo by LF)

Out in the Park 2014, photo by Lisa Fruichantie

Out in the Park falls on July 11  from noon to 5 pm at Pierce Transit Park in downtown Tacoma.  If you can make it to only one or two Pride events, this is a great one to catch. This year will feature two stages. Singer-songwriter and acoustic artists such as Kim Archer and Camille Bloom will play the green stage. And artists such as Nena Kapone, Lady V and many more will perform on the main stage.  In addition to music, 90 art vendors and nonprofits will be at the park to show their work and raise money for LGBTQ youth in Tacoma.

Also on July 11, two concerts will be held along St. Helens:

The Mix will host its annual Pride Block Party on St. Helens between South 6th and 7th Streets. This one’s for the 21+ crowd and starts at 5 pm, so you can head over for more music and fun after Out In the Park.

Club Silverstone will host their Pride concert, La Femme featuring rappers Rye Rye and Awkwafina. Also a 21+ event that starts at 4 pm, we recommend you get tickets to both parties and wander happily back and forth.

Other great Pride events include Blue Vespers for music and reflection at Immanuel Presbyterian Church on  July 12; a film series hosted by the Grand Cinema from the 14th to the 15th; and an LGBTQA military appreciation night at The Mix, also on the 15th.

OITP2012 (photo HW)

Out in the Park 2014, photo by Henry Waymack

The culmination of the week is the Big Hat Brunch on July 18.  The brunch is a fundraiser for the Oasis Youth Center. As the name suggests, Oasis is a haven and support center for Tacoma’s queer youth ages 14-24. The brunch will take place at the youth center, 111 N East Street, and costs $50 per person. Everyone is encouraged to wear their most festive hats.
All are welcome to these events. Pride is a special time to honor the LGBTQA community and an enormous outpouring of work and support has gone into creating an exceptional celebration in Tacoma. The organizations that put on Pride don’t stop here but continue to support the community year-round.

Feature photo by Lisa Fruichantie

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About the Author

Lili Nimlo

A Northwest writer, Lili contributes to Post Defiance and 253rdstreet.com.



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