By Paul Tiesse
On June 10th, OutSpokane kicked off the 26th Pride parade in downtown Spokane with the theme of “May the Pride Be with You”. On a sunny day, more than 15,000 people enjoyed the parade, Rainbow Festival, an all-ages dance and ending the evening with fireworks.
At noon, the Spokane Dykes Who Bike kicked off the parade with a thunderous roar.
Following them, as has now become a tradition, was a military honor guard and what will become a new tradition a large rainbow flag carried by various community members.
The parade had the traditional entries such as various churches, social agencies, medical groups, Bears and Leather men, Spokane Lesbian group(FB) and politicians canvasing for votes. Entries that stood out included a LGBTA law section, Q-Law, LGBTQ Veterans and Active Duty Support, Veterans for Peace and the Salish School of Spokane.
The Spokane Fire Department was well represented as well as the Spokane Police Department, both showcasing their departments’ vehicle and equipment power. Reaching out for the LGBTA dollar were financial institutions and retailers JC Penny and Nordstrom.
Some of the largest groups that marched were from Planned Parenthood and Kaiser Permanente.
In this uncertain political environment, the Spokane Trans People group, N.O.W., NAACP were well represented. It would not be a parade without the Spokane Drag community and Royalty, and a large contingent from Nyne.
This year’s Community Grand Marshall was Jenny Seibert, Ally Grand Marshall Rose Wardian and Youth Grand Marshall Liam Boyd.
After the parade, there were large crowds at the Resource and Business Fair, the family friendly area, and the beer garden all located in the Lilac Meadow of Riverfront Park.
OutSpokane should be congratulated for all their hard work for another successful Pride Week.