‘We won’t stop fighting for love’: Cedar City’s LGBTQ+ community deems ‘Pride Week’ a success

CEDAR CITY — Cedar City’s inaugural community “Pride Week” celebrating the LGBTQ+ community was a resounding success, organizers say.

Gathering at Main Street Park during Cedar City’s “Pride Week” celebration, Cedar City, Utah, June 14-19, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Ashton Horton, St. George News / Cedar City News

The weeklong event started with a small gathering at Main Street Park at the beginning of the week and ended with a parade and party on Saturday.

Throughout the week, a variety of daily activities were held, including a potluck dinner, a painting session, a picnic and an evening hike.

A crowd of more than 150 people participated in Saturday afternoon’s parade around the Southern Utah University campus. Later that evening, SUU’s Hunter Conference Center was the site of the party and lip sync contest that capped off the week.

“This past week has been amazing,” organizer Ashton Horton said, adding that the turnout exceeded expectations.

“These events started out with a group of friends in my living room, just wanting to do something fun for Pride Month,” he said. “We never expected it to get this big, but I’m so grateful that it grew throughout the community.”

“The amount of support we received, both in person and on social media, has been mind-blowing,” Horton added. 

Fellow organizer Everett Turner, who was in charge of spearheading the parade, called the week “a testament to the pride and love that Southern Utah, and Cedar City in particular, has to offer.” He noted that support for the event came from well beyond Iron County, including the St. George area and even Las Vegas.

Potluck social gathering during Cedar City’s “Pride Week” celebration, Cedar City, Utah, June 14-19, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Ashton Horton, St. George News / Cedar City News

“Seeing the diversity and sheer numbers of folks at the events is something I could’ve never dreamt of,” Turner said. “Children got to see the hope we can pass down, and older generations got to see that we won’t stop fighting for love, right alongside them.”

“During this past week, I’ve seen a huge age range of people coming to the pride events,” added Athy Castillo, another one of the event’s organizers. “They were all so welcoming and honestly the kindest people I’ve ever met.”

Castillo said the event enabled participants to “find a safe space in the community for us to celebrate.”

“We were all able to see how much family we have in Cedar City,” Castillo said.

Organizers say they plan to make Pride Week an annual event in Cedar City.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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