A&E

28th annual Las Vegas Pride celebration is underway

Image
A scene from the Night Parade in 2009.
Photo: Leila Navidi

Calendar

Las Vegas Pride Parade
September 16, 8 p.m., free.
Fourth Street from Charleston Blvd. to Ogden Ave.
Las Vegas Pride Festival
September 17, noon, $10-$15, children 5 & under free
Clark County Government Center
Beyond the Weekly
lasvegaspride.org

Commemorating 28 years of celebrating LGBT culture, the Southern Nevada Association of Pride, Inc.’s Pride Celebration is currently underway.

This is the first year the event has been held in the month of September; past festivals were primarily held during the months of May and June. Several cities across the country choose to hold their celebrations around this time to commemorate the famed Stonewall Riots of 1969. But with one look at a thermometer, there’s no doubt the date change would be warmly welcomed by the community.

More has changed than just the celebration’s date, though. Only 200 people were present at the 1983 installment’s Gay Pride Dance. Last year’s Pride Festival saw 10,000 attendees.

Embracing diversity, SNAPI stresses that the Pride Festival is something anyone and everyone can enjoy, whether you fall under the LGBT umbrella or not. This year’s Saturday festival will be held at the Clark County Amphitheater, and a lineup of live entertainment is scheduled, including a performance by Grammy-winning recording artist Mya and appearances by female impersonators and former 98 Degrees pop star Jeff Timmons. Exhibitors will also be on-site, promoting various products and community organizations.

The fun doesn’t end at the festival, though, as the multifaceted extravaganza includes nightclub parties, cocktail mixers and of course, the quintessential pride parade. And as Las Vegas is almost synonymous with nightlife, it seems fitting that the city is one of few destinations that choose to hold its parade after dark. The Night Parade begins at 8 p.m. this Friday and will take place Downtown on 4th Street between Charleston Boulevard and Ogden Avenue. The parade features gay and straight businesses alike, as well as non-profits, civic groups and LBGT service agencies. Serving as the celebrity grand marshal this year is Peepshow and Holly’s World star Josh Strickland.

Other events include a Men’s T-Dance at the Blue Moon Resort, a meet and greet reception with the cast of Divas and numerous festivities that are part of Shedonism, the official women’s events of Las Vegas Pride.

So if you’re in search of a fabulous time this weekend, look no further. And for all the details on this festive and completely accepting celebration, head to lasvegaspride.org.

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