It was all about love and acceptance for the crowds lining Main Street for downtown Grand Junction’s annual Pride Parade on Saturday, June 23, the biggest and best yet, with thousands of people attending. The weather was clear, sunny and a perfect 75 degrees. The parade route went from First and Main and Streets east along main to 6th Street.
Attendees cheered 23 floats, including entries from the First Congregational Church, the American Lutheran Church and the Grand Valley Interfaith Network. Residents of Delta had a float in this year’s parade, as did a Cosplay group, and a group called Coffee and Civic Action (CACA) that meets Thursday mornings at Main Street Bagels to write to elected representatives and advance progressive causes. The costumes were exotic and spectacular and rainbows were everywhere.
Democrats join the celebration, but no representation by Mesa County Republicans
The Mesa County Democrats had a float in the parade with local Dems marching along, winning cheers from the crowd, as seen in the video. The Mesa County Democrats also had a booth at the festival afterwards, too, but Mesa County Republicans nowhere to be seen at the parade or festival. About 40 vendors had booths at the festival held in the U.S. Bank parking lot at 422 White Ave. downtown. Colorado West Pride was organizer of PrideFest activities and sponsors included U.S. Bank, Tumbleweed Dispensaries, Pepsi, Bud Light, 970 Vapors in Glenwood Springs, One Colorado, Connect for Health Colorado (the state’s health insurance exchange), Charlie Dwellington’s (downtown’s favorite locally-owned bar at First and Main), the best pizza place in town, Pablo’s Pizza, the Clarion Inn, The Avalon Theater, the Western Colorado AIDS Project, Red Bull, HAPI Innovations, and others. There were more sponsors this year than in any previous year, and three members of the Grand Junction City Council served as Grand Marshals of the parade: Anna Stout, Chuck McDaniel (both newly elected this year) and Rick Taggart.
Colorado West Pride estimates the event drew approximately 4,000 people to the area, and based on figures from Visit Grand Junction, the old visitors and convention bureau, the event likely generated over $900,000 worth of economic activity in the area.
Also of interest is that prime corporate sponsor U.S. Bank is an official member and supporter of the Human Rights Campaign, participates in pride celebrations in over 30 cities across the U.S. and offers a new “pride inspired” debit card design.