Pride in the Park to Celebrate Local LGBTQ+ Community This Saturday | News, Sports, Jobs

Pride in the Park to Celebrate Local LGBTQ+ Community This Saturday | News, Sports, Jobs

ACQUIRED ARTWORK – Poster promoting the upcoming “Pride in the Park” event, taking place Saturday at West End Park in Marshalltown and hosted by the Marshalltown LGBTQ+ community.

Yoga, live entertainment, kids’ activities and a marketplace will feature the first Marshalltown Pride in the Park, which will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at West End Park.

The event, hosted by Marshalltown LGBTQ+ and founded by Taylor Bear, aims to be a welcoming and inclusive space.

She added that the group was created in 2022 as a private place on the web where people can connect.

“There was a huge demand for events, ways for us to come together in the community,” she said. “Last year we had such a great response that we did a happy hour at Fiddle & Whistle and then we did a couple of drag shows, which went down really well and were a lot of fun.”

Then more clubs and events were created, and with them came the request to organize a pride parade in the city.

“I work with some great people in the community and I was directed to talk to Geoff Hubbard at Marshalltown Parks and Rec., and I sat down with Jeff and said, ‘Hey, do you think this is something we can bring to our community, on a small scale, to see how it goes?’ And he was so helpful, he gave me as much knowledge as he had.”

West End Park has been approved as a location. Hubbard said Parks and Rec is excited to see any of its parks used for any type of special event.

“We hope people will come out and enjoy the stalls and entertainment planned for Saturday,” he said.

Bear added that she wants people to shop at 13th Street District establishments and enjoy all that Marshalltown has to offer.

Last year, the group organized a drag show at Riverview Park, but on a smaller scale.

“We had to sell tickets, and there was limited seating, a little more private,” she added. “It’s free to attend and it feels more friendly. Some parades charge to attend, and they have these elaborate, immaculate parades, but for us, I knew it would be a donation-based event.”

The morning begins with yoga in the park, led by Heidi Draisey of Spirited Yoga & Wellness. Sign up at 8:15 a.m. for an 8:30 a.m. start.

“Yoga in the Park is now available in this space in the morning,” Bear said.

Following the yoga class will be Ecstatic Dance, led by Tamra Rae of Light Steps, starting at 9:30.

From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., enjoy entertainment on the main stage, a market that lasts until 6 p.m., and a kids’ zone from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be about 22 vendors and artisans selling their wares, as well as community organizations, including the Iowa LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce. The kids’ zone will include a bouncy castle, face painting, and a sensory area.

PRIDEMANIA W/RuggedPro will take place at noon, followed by Remix Dance Academy at 1:00 PM, musician Paige Clouse at 2:00 PM, and a fashion show at 4:00 PM. Drag queen shows will be held throughout the day, featuring Xander Lyon Frost, Hollywood Hope, Andromeda Renee Valentino, Isabella Kills Michaels, Matte Black, Lonika LaReese Knight, Dickey Wrecked Lyon, Werm, Infinity Dragon, Terra Byte Lyon, Giovanni Strong Michaels, Rory Phoenix Monroe, and Amanita Girl, hosted by Hollywood Hope and Xander Lyon Frost.

“We really encouraged it to be family-friendly,” Bear said. “There will be a fashion show. Anyone can sign up for it. I’ll post it on the Facebook page so everyone can see even more details about the little things that happen throughout the day.”

The Pride After Party will be held at Dave & Sally’s + The Cellar Door from 8pm until closing.

“It’s going to be more of a 21+ crowd. It’s going to be where we have our weekly Happy Hour at The Cellar Door,” Bear said. “We’re going to have an Open Stage Drag Show with a lot of the same artists that we have on the main stage during the day. The music will probably be a little less family-friendly and stuff like that, but just a way to really round out the night. Marshalltown doesn’t have a queer bar like some of our larger cities in Iowa… there’s such a community building in these places and it’s beautiful to see these intergenerational friendships, there’s family friendships, there’s just so much community and diversity, and I think that’s the beauty of this life, so I’m excited to bring something like that to Marshalltown.”

We invite everyone to Sunday breakfast at Doo Dah’s from 8:00 to 11:00

For more information about the event, or to volunteer or sponsor, message Marshalltown Lgbtq+ on Facebook or text Bear to 641-840-2423.

Breaking news and more in your inbox