Queer? Aye!

PrideFest brings the whole community together at Tower Grove Park

PrideFest is an equal-opportunity party. Yes, the celebration of GLBT culture is first and foremost a party for the GLBT community. PrideFest commemorates the Stonewall riot of 1969, when queer culture first stood up for itself in a big way. But that doesn't mean you have be G, L, B or T to have a good time at PrideFest. In fact, you'd pretty much have to be anti-fun to not enjoy yourself.

The Pride Parade is the highlight of the festivities, and this year it gets underway a little earlier than usual. Lineups begin at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 26, at Utah Street and Grand Boulevard, and the parade heads north toward Tower Grove park at 11 a.m. Ah, but the earlier start means more time to enjoy the floats, the drill units, the marching bands and the pageantry.

And then there's the broad range of live entertainment, demonstrating the diverse group of people who make up the GLBT community in St. Louis. Saturday's show, emceed by Joy Ovington and Jaime Kelley (hosts of the Living OUT Loud program, which airs on KDHX [88.1-FM]), features the sounds of Sensations, the singer/songwriter rock of Jen Foster and a square-dance demo by the Gateway Squares. Sunday's show is hosted by the incomparable Dieta Pepsi, and highlights include the sweet and powerful voices of both the Gateway Men's Chorus and Charis, and the down-and-dirty rock of the Misses. And then there are the nonstop, hip-happy beats that will be pounded out by DJs at Faces on Fourth Street's PrideFest Dance Pavilion. Everyone who's anyone in the local DJ scene, including Kid Delicious (RFT Ultra DJ Contest winner, pictured), gets a shot at the turntables.

And in the spirit of inclusivity, there are a number of forums offered that are designed to get people talking about their GLBT concerns. How inclusive? Well, in addition to Woman Talk, Man Talk and Trans Talk, both the Stonewall Democrats and the Log Cabin Republicans are hosting discussions. See? The Blue and the Red can work side by side for a better tomorrow.

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