PrideFest Denver

PrideFest rainbow umbrella Denver June 2009When I went by PrideFest last weekend, it was like going to a huge party where everybody is as happy as can be.

Not that the other Denver festivals I’ve attended haven’t been fun. It’s just that PrideFest was a warm, welcoming meet-and-greet-and-dance right at the end of downtown Denver. People were running into old friends around me. The ones who got dressed up were posing for pictures. There was free watermelon to put in your Three Olives vodka.

What more could you want? Well, I wished for about 5 friends who liked to dance. I could have gotten out there by myself, of course, but then what do I do with the big purse and camera and notebook?PrideFest Nuclea Waste 2 with downtown Denver June 2009

And I was too shy to dance with Nuclea Waste and the Balloon Boys, though as you’ll see later, other people weren’t.

When I went by PrideFest on Saturday, in between the Cherry Blossom Festival, there was a minor dance party going on at one end of Civic Center Park, and someone was giving a speech in the Greek Theater at the other end. Booths circled the park, but things hadn’t really gotten started.

So if you have one hour to spend on PrideFest next year, go see the parade on Sunday morning. I showed up at Broadway and Colfax after 10 am and was still able to get right next to the floats. I could have walked down the parade route if I’d wanted and gotten a standing ovation. One marcher exclaimed within earshot, “It’s much better down here!”

I didn’t see very many truly fabulous floats, but I did like the Project Angelheart group carrying big cardboard forks and spoons and knives.

PrideFest Charlie's Colorado Gay Rodeo June 2009And the cowboys from the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association.

I visited the booths for the lavender farm and Grant Family Farms, where I picked up yet more free watermelon. I haven’t noticed farm booths at other festivals, but promoting your farm at a festival seems like a good idea. There were some amusing T-shirts for sale, including “Queerios” and “My Barbies Are Lesbians.” Do you suppose my relative who works at Mattel would appreciate that? But I draw the line at wearing a shirt that says, “Orgasm Donor.”

What made me want to stay for hours, despite the sunburn coming on, was the dancing.

I watched these two girls and thought, “This is what it’s all about.” PrideFest girls dancing downtown Denver June 2009And, “How come I didn’t know how to dance like that when I was a teenager?”

The man in the green shirt was a great dancer.PrideFest man dancing Denver June 2009

And these two? Well, she asked him to dance.PrideFest balloon boy and girl Denver June 2009