Third Annual Northern Nevada Pride Festival Gets Bigger

Jul 21, 2016

Artists Amber and Lady Bunny are headliners at this year's Northern Nevada Pride festival.

Northern Nevada Pride kicks off Saturday with a parade and festival downtown. Organizers hope to keep the event positive following the recent Orlando tragedy.

In its third year, Northern Nevada Pride continues to grow with more sponsors, vendors and entertainment.

According to spokeswoman YeVonne Allen, Pride is about empowering the local LGBT community.

"Pride exists to prove the point of people being allowed to be who they are and where they are. And to celebrate being allowed to legally," she says. "So in Nevada we are actually very progressive in having certain protections."

This year's event comes at an important time for advocates, about a month after the Orlando massacre in which a lone gunman killed 49 people at a gay nightclub.

Allen says the Reno Police Department will boost protection this year at the parade and festival. There will also be a banner that people can sign for the victims that will be mailed to Orlando's community center.

But organizers mostly want to maintain the light-hearted and family friendly atmosphere of Pride. 

"If we really change the way we are, then they win," says Allen. "If you really change your day-to-day perspective, then the terrorists win, even if it is a homegrown terrorist."

The money raised from the festival helps support the nonprofit group called Build Our Center, which just opened an LGBT community center on Wells Avenue this spring.

Allen says the center has been packed since its opening, providing counseling, education and services for the gay community and its allies.

The Northern Nevada Pride parade starts at 11 a.m. along California Avenue, and the festival will last from noon until 6 p.m. in Wingfield Park.

For the full lineup and schedule of events, visit northernnevadapride.org.