CEDAR CITY — Organizers have lined up a week’s worth of activities to celebrate Cedar City’s inaugural “Pride Week,” which will start Monday and run through June 19.
Ashton Horton is one of five friends who started the Facebook group Cedar City LGBTQ+ Family several months ago. He said that while Pride events have been staged on the Southern Utah University campus in the past, he believes this is the first time a community-wide pride event of this scale has been attempted in Cedar City.
So far, Horton said, preparations have been going smoothly.
“The university has been great at helping us get this together, helping us find funding and finding places to hold different events,” he said. “We’re also getting ready to go around to talk to a few businesses this week about putting up our flyers and getting their support. So far, we’ve found nothing but support, which has been amazing.”
Horton said any members of the community are welcome to attend the various events throughout the week.
“These events are open to all ages, and everyone’s welcome,” he said. “We tried to make all of our events as family friendly as possible, where anyone of any ability can make it to at least a few of them.”
The week kicks off with a professional photo shoot at Main Street Park on Monday from 5-8 p.m. Attendees are invited to wear their best and craziest outfits.
“Originally, it started as just a way for people to show up and take some pictures on their phones, and we were going to print them off for them,” Horton said, adding that professional photographer Kevin Andrews then reached out and offered his services.
“We took him up on his offer, and it kind of went from there into a professional photo shoot where anyone can show up wearing anything that’s most affirming to them and get their pictures taken.”
Horton said some group photos will also be taken to be shared on social media.
Tuesday’s event will be a potluck dinner from 5-8 p.m. at Park Discovery, 2077 W. Royal Hunte Drive.
“You just show up with your favorite food, with yourself, your friends or family,” Horton said. “We’re just hoping that everyone can have a great time and maybe even get to try some new foods. Everyone bring their favorites and open up everyone’s taste buds!”
Those bringing food are asked to include allergen warnings or other ingredient alerts, if applicable.
Wednesday’s activity is a group hike from 6-10 p.m. Those interested in participating should meet at the Southview trailhead (click here for map) at 6 p.m. Hikers should wear appropriate footwear and bring water to drink.
“It’s just gorgeous around the evening, because you can see where the sun is setting on some of those points,” Horton said. “So we figured that would be a good place to do the hike.”
Thursday, a painting session led by local artist Everett Turner will take place at Canyon Park East from 1:30-3 p.m. Those who have their own brushes, paints and canvases are invited to bring them. Those who do not may RSVP via email to [email protected] and request needed materials. Attendees should bring their own chair or blanket to sit on.
“The artist will be there to just lead things, but if someone wants to go in a different direction, they’re more than welcome to,” Horton said.
Friday’s event is called an “Upscale Picnic,” where attendees will bring their own food. It will take place from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Canyon Park West.
Horton described it as a dress-up event.
“Wear whatever fancy clothes are most different to you,” he said. “Some people can wear suits or a button-up shirt and some pants or dresses like a super extravagant ball gown. Just something other than what you would wear in your day-to-day life.”
Pride Week will wrap up with two major events on Saturday. First is the parade, which will take place along the streets surrounding the SUU campus, starting at 2 p.m. and lasting until around 3:30 p.m. The staging area will be near SUU’s Sherratt Library at 500 W. 200 South.
“Dress up, bring flags, beads and glitter,” Horton said, “Just show up and march with us, in our little parade and just show you’re proud of yourself, your friends or family and anyone who’s come before us.”
Finally, a party is scheduled from 6-10 p.m. Saturday inside the Great Hall of SUU’s Hunter Conference Center. The event will include a drag lip sync contest to cap off the evening. To sign up for the contest, click here to fill out a short survey.
“We plan on having some prizes for those who perform and compete,” Horton said, adding that all ages and all skill levels are welcome.
Horton said he and his fellow organizers are hoping to make Cedar City Pride Week something that happens every June.
“We want to make it annual and see where it can grow,” he said.
“We want it to be a very open activity that’s based around fun and not just about politics,” Horton said. “We’re just having a good time and showing the community that we’re out here, showing people who may need to see it, that we’re here and everyone’s welcome here.”
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.