Canyon County’s inaugural Pride Festival event draws thousands

Tom Wheeler was on stage Sunday afternoon with glitter on his cheeks and a rainbow-colored crowd of thousands in front of him at Canyon County’s. first Pride festival.

“I want everyone to look around and think to themselves, ‘You belong in Canyon County,'” he told those gathered at Lakeview Park in Nampa.

When Wheeler and his colleague Van Knapp first came up with the idea, they imagined a “queer picnic” with maybe 50 people, according to Knapp.

What she didn’t expect was that more than 4,000 people were in attendance at the event. A May 28 statement issued by Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling saying the event “does not reflect my personal beliefs and convictions, those of the Nampa City Council and many people living in Nampa” increased publicity for the event. he event and the motivation of some residents to attend. About 20 protesters stood outside the festival, holding signs and attempting to interact with those entering the event.

“The mayor saying that’s not what’s hurting our city,” said Sarah Thorn, a 32-year-old Nampa resident and attendee. “So we’re here to just say, ‘Hey, we’re here. You can’t ignore us.

People attending the first Canyon Canyon Pride Festival applaud a musical act on stage.

Wheeler told the Idaho Statesman on Sunday that recent legislation, his role as co-founder of Idaho’s LGBTQ Real Estate Alliancee and his volunteer work with LGBTQ youth made him aware of the need for such an event.

“This is an opportunity to stand up, unite, know your rights and get civically involved, because if we want to see change, we’re going to have to come together and do it as a community,” Wheeler said .

Sunday’s festival featured food trucks, live music, nearly 40 local vendors and information booths offering community resources. Many participants wore colorful clothing and waved rainbow flags.

“There hasn’t been that visibility,” said Cori Crawford, 21, who grew up in Caldwell. “This is my first time in Canyon County and I fully feel like I can be myself.”

Colin Howard, 42, a longtime Caldwell resident and member of the Boise Gay Men’s Chorus, said that if he had had this type of experience when he was young, he might have been able to “accept (his) sexuality” earlier.

“People who identify as LGBTQ have always been here, but just didn’t feel empowered enough to host an event like this,” Howard said. “I know I felt that way for a long time. I feel like what has changed is acceptance.

Nova Valenezuela, 20, said coming to Canyon County from her home in Boise was often “nerve-wracking” and “kind of scary” as a member of the LGBTQ community.

“But being here right now, it’s the safest feeling I’ve ever had,” Valenezuela said at the festival.

The first Canyon Canyon Pride Festival attracted thousands of people attending the event at Lakeview Park in Nampa.

Luca Kennedy, 20, said growing up in Nampa was often “tense” as someone who identifies as “sexist and…

Read Complete News ➤

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one × one =