The majority of annual festivals were canceled last year here in Tucson, and many were forced to shut down for this year as well. However, one festival is making its return to the Old Pueblo in its quest to celebrate inclusion, empowerment, and diversity: The Tucson Pride Festival.
The Tucson Pride Festival will take place on the first weekend of October, starting on Friday, the 1st, and running through Sunday, the third. Over the course of the weekend, there will be a number of activities and events, all of which are open to the public.
On October 1, it is all about the Tucson Pride Parade and the following block party. The following day on Saturday there is the official Pride Festival, plus the Plaza After Party. Within the festival, there will be vendors selling goods to help celebrate diversity, as well as food and beverages on hand. You will need a ticket for admission into the October 2 activities. The last day, October 3, will conclude with a Tucson Pride brunch. While the festival itself will be held in Reid Park, additional announcements will come out regarding the brunch, the time, and where it will take place. So make sure to follow the Tucson Pride Facebook page for updates as the event draws closer.
Tickets to the event are $15 for general admission. The tickets are for Saturday, so you won’t need any tickets to either take part in the parade or to watch the parade. If you are an active military member, a first responder, a senior, or if you are a retired military member, tickets are just $10. And for anyone between the ages of 13 and 18, tickets are only $5. You will need a valid ID in this age group though in order to receive the $5 ticket. If you would like to purchase a ticket for a community member that might not be able to afford the cost of admission, but still wants to participate in the celebration of diversity, you can purchase a donation ticket for $10 (if you are an individual who is unable to afford a ticket you can request one of the donated tickets at email@example.com).
Tucson Pride dates back to its formation in 1977. This was following the murder o Richard J. Heakin Jr., a gay man who was killed after leaving the Stonewall Tavern in 1976. Following the murder, Tucson community members formed Tucson Pride and, together, helped pass some of the first anti LGBQ discrimination laws anywhere in the United States. If you want to help give back to the organization or take part in other activities that do not receive as much attention as the annual Pride Festival, visit Tucsonpride.org and select “Other Ways to Support.”
It takes a strong community to maintain Tucson Pride and help it remain active throughout greater Tucson. That is why Tucson Pride is always looking for volunteers. This is especially the case for the festival, as more on-site volunteers are needed than for any other event the organization puts on. This is one of the best ways to offer support and to help out. Currently, Tucson Pride is looking for three kinds of volunteers. First, there is volunteering for the event. The second is grant writing. If you are familiar with grant writing this is a position of need, and third, there is joining the media team, which can be anything from snapping photographs to sharing word of events on the radio.
Whether you’re able to volunteer or not, the Tucson Pride Festival is one of the best ways to not only help support the organization but members of the Tucson LGBTQ+ community as a whole.
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