Tacoma shows its Pride

2022-06-25 07:43:11 By : Mr. Peter Wang

Two years have passed since Tacoma’s LGBTQ community and friends have been able to party in person to celebrate Pride but this year, things will change for the better. Throughout July there is something on tap to commemorate Pride every week and it’s all about bringing people together again after so many months of separation and isolation.

"Everybody is so excited that Pride is returning as an in-person event and let me tell you it has been a whirlwind of an adventure,” Tacoma Rainbow Center Celebrations Manager Marshall Samuela said about the planning process. "There are a lot of moving parts – events that the Rainbow Center is specifically hosting and events that are affiliated with the Tacoma Pride Festival hosted by other community partners. If you can’t make it to the big festival, there are other things you can do to acknowledge and celebrate Pride in Tacoma.” 

This multi-community partnership gives a true feeling of togetherness, which is what Pride is all about – celebrating diversity and inclusiveness for all people from all walks of life. Samuela said that part of the planning was to incorporate the personal choice for people to take whatever COVID precautions they feel most comfortable with.  

"If they feel more comfortable wearing a mask outside and social distancing, that’s totally fine. There will also be people who aren’t going to wear a mask and that’s also fine. We want to give people the agency to make that decision themselves.”

The City of Tacoma gets things rolling on June 28 when Mayor Woodards and the city council present their official Pride Month Proclamation, 5 p.m. at city hall, then July 1 starts the month of events on the rooftop at Alma (1322 Fawcett Ave.) with a Pride party from 7-9 p.m. The Pierce County Council announces its Pride proclamation on July 5 at 3 p.m.

An always anticipated Pride observance in Tacoma is the raising of the Pride flag atop the Tacoma Dome, 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Friday, July 8. Join Rainbow Center staff and supporters in parking lot G to witness the occasion. 

Every year, the Rainbow Center and Tacoma community recognize businesses and individuals who stand out as examples of what it means to be an ally and champion of LGBTQ people. This year’s Pride Awards will take place at the Pantages Theater on July 8, 4:30-6 p.m. This is also when the Pride flag is raised at the Tacoma Municipal Building. Pride Award nominations are now open for five different categories. Complete the nomination form at TacomaPride.org.

  The Mix will host their annual block party with a mainstage and amazing entertainment.

Saturday, July 9, is the big day for two major outdoor events. Streets are blocked off downtown  on Pacific Avenue and Court A from South 7th to South 9th and east to Fireman’s Park  for the big Tacoma Pride Festival, noon to 6 p.m., with all day entertainment on the main stage, food trucks, vendor booths, and a Maker’s Market featuring  local makers, artists, creatives, and businesses.  Some businesses will continue the COVID-started "Points of Pride” throughout the month of July   offering a special promotion or activity in recognition of Tacoma Pride.

That same day at 2 p.m. and continuing until 2 a.m., The Mix will be hosting their annual block party with a mainstage and amazing entertainment featuring  performances, DJs ,  drag queens, exclusive drink specials, karaoke, food, outdoor bars, glitter beards and more. This is a ticketed and 21+ only event. Get more information on the block party and additional Pride festivities at TheMixTacoma.com/pride2022.  

Also that night will be "Gods & Goddesses” at McMenamins Elks Temple (565 Broadway). Athena Vertical Dance Studio will be at the Spanish Ballroom executing aerial arts, burlesque, live singing and more. One dollar from every ticket will go to support the Rainbow Center. Shows are at 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $40 and VIP is $70. Visit mcmenamins.com.

Enjoy a movie in the great outdoors on Friday, July 15, at People’s Park for a showing of the 1995 classic, "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar” (PG-13), 7 p.m. The next morning at 11 a.m., bring your appetite and your friends for the "Big Hat Brunch” at Hotel Murano. This is a fundraiser for Oasis Youth Center,   Pierce County’s only drop-in, resource, and support center dedicated to queer and questioning youth. 

Get into the spirit of Pride on the waterfront Sunday, July 17, at Point Ruston Pride, noon to 10 p.m. At the Point Ruston Splash Pad, DJ Lauren Von Deadly will get the party started and former Miss Gay Washington 2019-2022 Duchess Drew will grace the farmers market.

On July 21, Tacoma Art Museum’s Pride Party happens from 5-9 p.m. Dance to the beats from DJ LA Kendall, enjoy drinks and snacks, explore the galleries with local drag queens, and create art projects or make button in the TAM Studio with museum educators.

The month ends on a fabulous note July 29 at Alma when House of Khaos hosts a ball "Unknown: Intergalactic, Dreamscape” featuring Viper Fangs, Kylie Mooncakes and Killer Bunny. 

Go to TacomaPride.org for the latest updates.