Pride Northwest brings the rainbow party to Portland


Portland Pride Parade in 2016 | Photo: Wiki

Visitors from up and down the West Coast will gather in Portland to celebrate the LGBTI community at the annual Pride NorthWest on 16-17 June.

Those familiar with sketch comedy Portlandia will remember characters dubbing Portland ‘the city where young people go to retire’, mocking its hipster vibe. Well, not this weekend.

Sipping an overpriced coffee in a cute cafe is not an option this time around, as pride celebrations in one of the kinkiest US cities will drive you out of your usual exposed brick walls.

One of the most popular on the West Coast

The activities in Oregon’s largest city will culminate in the annual Portland Pride Parade on 17 June. As usual, lesbian motorcycle club Dykes on Bikes will open the parade, leading marchers to Waterfront Park.

Marchers at Pride Northwest in Portland in 2014

Portland Pride in 2014 | Photo: Wiki

The park will also be the setting of the Waterfront Festival. Despite being one of the few pride events without a fee in the US, there is an $8 suggested donation.

Portland has held prides since the 1970s, but it was in 1994 that Pride Northwest took over to turn it in one of the most popular of the West Coast.

This year’s events will include The Official Portland Trans Pride Parade and Portland Dyke March, both on 16 June.

On the same day, Portland Gay Men’s Chorus will take visitors on a musical trip throughout the US with Pride Concert: The United States of Broadway.

Furthermore, Portland’s very own Sasha Scarlett will be the special guest at the annual charity party Gaylabration. Now in its seventh year, the dance raises funds for the LGBTI community.

‘Portland’s gay equivalent of the Super Bowl’

Started in 1987 when drag queen Lady Elaine Peacock fulfilled her dream of hosting a drag variety show in Portland, Peacock in the Park is one of the most anticipated, family-friendly events during Pride month.

Drag queen Lady Elaine Peacock

Lady Elaine Peacock was a legendary drag queen in Portland | Photo: Courtesy of Peacock in the Park

Described as ‘Portland’s gay equivalent of the Super Bowl’ by Portland Monthly, the show will take place at Washington Park on 24 June.

This year’s event will be hosted by Maria Peters Lake and Poison Marie Waters. The two took over after Lady Peacock died in 1993 of complications due to HIV/AIDS.

Entertainers will include the Guinness World Record’s Oldest Working Drag Queen Darcelle XV.

The show will also raise fund for the Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund, established in Memory of Peacock’s Mother and dedicated to LGBTI students or students of LGBTI parents.

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