Provo Getting Its First Gay Pride Festival

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The most conservative city in the United States is going to have its first LGBTQ celebration this fall. The Provo Pride Festival is set to make history this fall as the first official Pride Festival in Utah County. Currently, the only LGBTQ celebrations in the state are in Salt Lake City and Moab, known as the “Utah Pride Festival.” Organizers of Provo Pride feel Provo is ready for its own festival.

Adaryn Riverston, one of the event’s organizers, is optimistic about the upcoming festival.

“We do realize this is Provo and it is conservative, but with 550,000 in our metro area, we have the demand,” says Riverston. “When Salt Lake City started Utah Pride back in the late 80s, it began as a barbecue in the park with drag queens playing football. Now, years later, it’s one of Utah’s largest independent celebrations. We feel Provo’s celebration could be just as successful.”

The Provo Pride group is already registered as a nonprofit organization and has begun promotion for the event. They’ve also been working with the LGBTQ community in Salt Lake City, who have also been very supportive.

The festival in Provo, however, won’t start out with the numbers the Salt Lake City festival currently has. While there are no plans for a parade this year (due to the late start in promoting the organization), there are still plans for a festival at a public park in Provo that will include booths, entertainment and music. A parade is on the to-do list for next year.

But how will a gay festival be received by the Provo community? Provo’s population has a high percentage of members of the LDS faith. The LDS church teaches that same-sex attraction itself is not a sin, but yielding to it is.

“We are anticipating some backlash. But in the end we feel the positive message outweighs the negative. This is good for Provo and all of Utah County. With the population expanding, larger gay friendly businesses moving in, it’s the right time for Provo to move ahead with this event.”

Details of the event, as far as location and date, will be coming soon.

What do you think of the upcoming Provo Pride Festival? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Update: It has been confirmed that the festival will take place on September 21st at Memorial Park on 800 E Center Street in Provo. From 10am-8pm. The festival is free and open to the public. There will be an after party at The Madison night club in Downtown Provo.

Photo Courtesy of the Provo Pride Festival


18 thoughts on “Provo Getting Its First Gay Pride Festival

  1. Brandon B

    I don’t have a problem with it! They are good people! I think it will be great for Provo! Hopefully it will make Provo and Utah County a little more open minded towards all people, regardless of their beliefs or sexual preferences!

  2. Bri Cluck

    You forgot that Moab also has a pride event, so SLC isn’t the *only* current event. Otherwise, I’m excited! My hopes aren’t too high for a huge turnout, but by golly I’m going to go.

  3. Mike Romero

    Good call Elder. They haven’t announced dates or anything yet, we just know it will be this fall. I’ve updated the article to reflect that. Thanks!

  4. Julie Northrup

    My son is the treasurer for Provo pride….it will be held on September 21st! Thanks for helping to let people know about this!

  5. poodledoodledude

    we are so excited to see the great support from everyone! its going to be a great little event for provo’s COMING OUT! also, we are planning an “after party” at club madison with great entertainment and drag queen show!

  6. Dan Burton

    Only a few years ago, Brigham Young University would expel students just for expressing support for things like this. Fortunately, that draconian measure has been removed from the honor code, so it will be interesting to see what role BYU students play in this, especially the “Understanding Same Gender Attraction” unofficial but sizable student group. Note that gay BYU students are still subject to expulsion for “all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.”

  7. Moab Pride

    Thanks for reminding folks that down here in Moab, we are about to celebrate our 3rd Annual Moab Pride Festival!! September 27-28 2013 See you then.

  8. BenEdgar

    Utah has been celebrating Gay Pride Days since 1974 when they were first called Gay Freedom Days. Pride was to counter act the shame that society had foisted on Gay people. I have been attended Pride Days since 1986 and I can tell you Drag Queens never played football LOL… The Lesbians played softball and some Gay men played volleyball… Check out The Utah Stonewall Historical Society’ site on FB for accurate information…

  9. waikiki_dave

    If byu had its way, there would be zero gay students included in its studentbody. You can bet the university will organize a protest rally to harrass people trying to show support for this event. Wish I could bethere when it happens. It would make me feel like a martyr.

  10. Mike Romero

    Actually BYU is overall very supportive of the event…I’ve talked to several students, including Mormons, who are looking forward to attending the event. I’ve desperately been looking to see if people will be protesting and I have found nothing. I think people have this mindset that BYU is this hateful university but they, along with the rest of Provo, have done a fantastic job of welcoming this event.

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