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'The most love you've ever seen': Spokane Pride returns this weekend

A Progress Pride flag is painted at the intersection of two roads. Behind the flag is a sign that reads "riverfront."
Owen Henderson
Spokane Public Radio News
The Downtown Spokane Pride crosswalk sits at the intersection of Spokane Falls Boulevard and Howard Street. It was recently repainted by volunteers thanks to donations from the community after a group splashed an accelerant onto the paint and set it on fire in the early morning hours of Thursday, May 16.

Tomorrow night kicks off Spokane’s 32nd annual LGBTQ+ Pride festival, and organizers say it will be more expansive than ever.

"We've gone from a festival of four or five thousand people to one of Spokane's largest community events, taking over the entire riverfront park," Spokane Pride Executive Director Matthew Danielson said. "And we still can't fit all the vendors that want to participate.”

The theme of this year’s celebration is “Never Gonna Hide.”

Things get started Friday at 5 p.m. with a Kick Off Party at the Spokane Pavilion in Riverfront Park.

The parade steps off at the intersection of Stevens Street and Riverside Avenue at noon on Saturday, winding through Downtown Spokane to take attendees to Riverfront Park for the festival itself, starting at 1 p.m.

There will be performances throughout the afternoon and evening at different stages around the park.

There will also be areas of the festival set aside specifically for teens and kids, as well as Native American-specific activities at Havermale Point for IndigiQ.

The day will feature more than celebrations, though. This year's festival also has some healthcare programming.

“We have two vaccine clinics. We have a blood drive that we're going to have in the north parking lot that's going to, you know, celebrate the fact that many people in our community can donate blood now, which we couldn't before,” Danielson said.

After a group set the rainbow crosswalk at the intersection of Spokane Falls Boulevard and Howard Street on fire, some have raised concerns about protestors at this year's Pride.

For safety, city police will be present, as well as private security, Danielson said.

Still, he had this to say to those people like the ones who defaced the crosswalk:

"We're just celebrating equality. This is not that radical, not that wild. It's just it's literally the most love you've ever seen in your entire life in Spokane."

Schedule of Events

June 7

  • Pride Kickoff Show from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Spokane Pavilion in Riverfront Park
  • Friday Night Fever from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Davenport Grand Hotel, Ballroom A
  • Latin X Pride from 8:00 p.m. to 9:20 p.m. at nYne Bar & Bistro

June 8

  • Spokane Pride Parade at 12 p.m. in Downtown Spokane
  • IndigiQ Festival at 12 p.m. in Havermale Point
  • Rainbow Festival 1 p.m. in Riverfront Park
  • Spokane Pride Blood Drive from 1:00 p.m.  6:00 p.m. on the bus in the Riverfront Park parking lot off N. Washington and N. River Dr. in Downtown Spokane
  • Drag performance by Ada Vox at 3:30 p.m. at the Lilac Bowl in Riverfront Park
  • Musician Noah Vonne performs 4:30 p.m. at the Lilac Bowl in Riverfront Park
  • Queer Youth Dance Party 6:30 p.m. at the Lilac Bowl in Riverfront Park
  • Pride Reunion Show from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Pavilion Beer Garden Stage in Riverfront Park

June 9

  • Clean Up Party at 10 a.m. in Riverfront Park
Owen Henderson is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he studied journalism with minors in Spanish and theater. Before joining the team at SPR as Morning Edition host, he worked as the Weekend Edition host for Illinois Public Media, as well as reporting on the arts and LGBTQ+ issues.