At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, I don’t think any of us could have predicted just how fundamentally our world and our lives would be impacted by the spread of the virus. Looking back to those early days in March, I remember feeling so much fear and uncertainty as we watched our world change, seemingly overnight. Now, more than a year into the pandemic, many of us have also felt personal loss because of the virus, or know someone who has, and the heartbreak we carry as a community is great.
The last year has also taught us so much about the power and strength we find in community. I am so proud of our staff, program attendees and Colorado’s LGBTQ community who were able to come together virtually throughout last year for many of The Center on Colfax’s programs, including the very first Virtual Denver PrideFest.
When we began our planning for 2021 Denver Pride, we still faced many uncertainties with the pandemic. Would we be able to gather like we used to? Would we finally flatten the curve? Would we need to pivot to an all-virtual celebration? It takes hundreds of volunteers, a dedicated staff, and many hours of planning to pull off a successful Pride, so we had no time to waste when we closed the curtain on 2020.
That is why I am excited to share with all our supporters our plans for a hybrid version of Denver Pride. This year’s Denver Pride will blend in-person and virtual activities to provide a safe way to enjoy the annual event amidst the continuing pandemic. This year’s festivities will include a virtual marketplace, an in-person and virtual 5K race, a virtual parade, and a series of “Pride hubs” hosted at a variety of venues throughout the city.
We are excited to introduce Pride Hubs in 2021 as an in-person option for those who wish to gather physically to celebrate Denver Pride. While we recognize the pandemic is not over, we also acknowledge that the situation is much different this year than in 2020. With a better understanding of how the virus spreads, as well as the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to the public ahead of schedule, we are confident that we can safely return to limited in-person events for Denver Pride 2021.
If we learned anything in the last year, we learned that it is crucial to provide our community with a range of options to safely connect and celebrate PrideFest. It is my hope that our hybrid approach offers something for everyone. More information can be found on our website and social media channels.
Pride has always been bigger than a festival in Civic Center Park on a hot weekend in June. It has always been about the chance to celebrate our past achievements, stand-up against our present obstacles, and to unite as a community. After a year of isolation and grief, we will Unite with Pride in June and show the Rocky Mountain region that the LGBTQ+ community is stronger than it has ever been before.
Thank you, and I look forward to celebrating with all of you soon.
CEO, The Center on Colfax, Producers of Denver Pride