Part of our team had the pleasure of attending Las Vegas Pride (Oct 20, 2017-Oct 22, 2017). The city greeted us with love and rainbows, it radiated with hope. Despite, or maybe because of the Oct 1, 2017 tragedy that claimed 58 lives, and left too many wounded, there was a record breaking number of attendees at this year’s festivities.
Upon arrival the first thing we noticed was the heavy police presence, it was evident that the organizers prioritized festival goers’ safety above all. “After October 1 we got in touch with Metro, we beefed up the security team that we have inside the festival” James Healey, Las Vegas Pride President explains. By going above and beyond to secure the premises, the organizers allowed guests to let their guard down and really be themselves.
Pride has become a place where the LGBT community is able to genuinely express themselves without fear of judgement and/or harassment. This weekend was no different, “the festival gave people an opportunity to come together and be together in such a happy and positive environment, reflect on what happened, but continue with the mission to live our lives.” Healey said.
The festival made it evident that love is love, and it always wins. Las Vegas Pride organizers did a remarkable job, making this event not only inclusive, but also accessible. The event was catered to the LGBT community and its allies, but also addressed the intersectionalities within the community. It was family friendly, with ample activities, rides, and giveaways that children and adults alike could enjoy. Three of the closest parking areas were reserved for handicap guests, facilitating access to the festival. Las Vegas Pride organizers took inclusivity to a whole new level by making the festival *drumroll please* Pet friendly!
As if that wasn’t enough, the tickets to get into the festival were an absolute bargain, and the parking was free! Unlike other festivals we have attended, Las Vegas Pride did not charge an arm and a leg to nourish its guests. The drinks ranged from $1 – $6 and that included delicious mixed drinks. The cherry on top of it all was the abundant selection of exquisite, and affordable food.
The best part of the festivities however, were all the entertainers! There was really something for everyone to enjoy. The wide array of performers was yet another way Las Vegas Pride organizers displayed their dedication to inclusivity. They had Hawaiian dancers, Las Vegas Men’s Chorus, Metropolitan Community Church Service, Folkloric Ballet, and even Zombie Burlesque! Professionally led workouts by Power Hour 360 gym, X-Cycle Yoga, Zumba, and Cheer San Diego Extreme. Comedian Shawn Pelfsky and Ru Paul’s Drag Race contestants also graced the stages just to name a few of the extraordinary acts.
Written by Jazmin Gonzalez