Denver PrideFest: A Day Like No Other


Posted Thu, Jun 27, 2019

SHOWING YOUR COLORS: More than 400,000 people came out to celebrate Denver’s most colorful weekend. [Photo: Evan Semón

DENVER — Large stages, plenty of food, drinks and a colorful parade highlight Denver’s PrideFest. The event holds a special place in the hearts of many people around the country.

Denver Pridefest takes place every summer and has the intentions of spreading love, positivity and happiness. Civic Center Park was packed with more than 400,000 people this year. Even with storm clouds pushing in, people stayed enthusiastic and continued to enjoy themselves.

There are many organizers and individuals that make the event happen. Debra Pollock, the CEO of the Center on Colfax, 1301 E. Colfax, is one of the main organizers of the event. This year’s Denver PrideFest marks Pollock’s 16th year involved with the event, and she has experienced a fair amount of community and corporate backlash.

“When I would call sponsors and try to find sponsors for PrideFest, they would hang up the phone or they wouldn’t return phone calls,” Pollock says. “It was very difficult to get corporations involved.”

DO YOUR THING: Denver’s PrideFest is the largest LGBTQ celebration in the Rocky Mountain region. [Photo: Evan Semón

Fast-forward to 2019, Denver PrideFest now holds a barrage of sponsors. Smirnoff, Nissan, and Coors Light were all headliners for the event. The Smirnoff Dance World was a side stage where many ravers and dancers spent a lot of time preforming. But for many, the Center Stage, located in the middle of Civic Center Park, was where all the partying went down featuring comedians, drag shows and other talents showing off their skills.

Allegra “Pi” Duval, the founder of Dance is Love, created her dance company with the goal of standing up for those that have been oppressed.

“Last year we did a suicide prevention performance, and we found out that we have the power to save lives,” she said. “We had recordings of actual friends of mine that have lost loved ones to suicide—and everyone in the audience started crying.”

The individuals performing have a major impact on those in the audience. Many people attending the event need some type of support, whether it be emotionally or physically. For those in need of a hug, fathers and mothers would volunteer their time to give away free hugs. One of the fathers told people that regardless of who they are, they are accepted and are perfect the way they are. Fortunately for many people attending, regardless of the type of support they needed or message they had, there was somebody to listen and help.

Kai Fearing, a transgender attendee, enjoyed the event and what it represented.

TAKE IT TO THE STAGE: Dance companies, comedians and drag shows were just some of the featured events. [Photo courtesy of Denver PrideFest]

“I think it’s very important to have as big [of a Pride festival as Denver’s], because it makes everyone feel included. You’re not gonna get the same kind of experience as this as you will in real life like this. Pride always falls on my birthday, and it’s like happy pride to everybody for my birthday.”

With raindrops beginning to fall, the event was rolling to a close. The distant sounds of thunder began as the event ended on Sunday. Thousands of happy attendees went home with a joyful experience meeting friends, drinking and eating and seeing some of their favorite creators and performers take to the stages. Denver PrideFest happens every single summer and has maintained a great joyous experience since its first appearance in Denver in 1976. Many people will go home with a lot to be prideful for, and many will be eager for the next Denver PrideFest.


2 Responses to “Denver PrideFest: A Day Like No Other”

  1. brando perez Says:

    Great work, Brady!

    I enjoyed the way you capsulated the day into a report/story to show me what happened.



  2. Derek Says:

    Nice work, Brady!


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