PT Pride event is set for Saturday

Music, food, boat parade are scheduled

PORT TOWNSEND — Music, food and drag shows will take over Pope Marine Park on Saturday for Port Townsend Pride, a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.

“We’re just really excited to create a safe inclusive space for local LGBTQ+ communities to get together and connect and educate and celebrate,” said Kerri Kitaji, Port Townsend Pride event coordinator for the Production Alliance, the nonprofit events group that is organizing the celebration.

“Everyone is always asking for a parade, so this year we are doing one on the water,” Kitaji said. “Six to 10 boats will go back and forth for about 20 minutes.”

A stage in the park will host a series of musical acts and drag performances from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 52 booths from nonprofit groups, LGBTQ+ groups and others will be set up around the area. At least 22 of those booths applied for no-cost booths and each received sponsorship from a different local business, Kitaji said.

This is the first year the Production Alliance — a local events group that throws events like the Cake Picnic and Field Day at Fort Worden — is hosting Port Townsend Pride. The event used to be run by Olympic Pride, but that group dissolved earlier this year.

“Olympic Pride has done so much for the community in the short time they existed, and their presence will be surely missed,” the Production Alliance said in a statement. “TPA is hoping to continue to create an inclusive, safe and celebratory LGBTQ+ event for years to come.”

Kitaji, a former president of Olympic Pride, coordinated the group’s annual pride event for the past several years before working with the Production Alliance.

Olympic Pride, formerly Jefferson County Pride, had been hosting a pride event in Port Townsend since 2018, when money raised during that year’s Women’s March was used to start an LGBTQ+ pride organization.

This year’s event will feature several musical performances, including multiple performances from Seattle-based band Chaotic Noise, and drag performances from Katrina Duall and Bobby 4 Bobby.

There will also be a kids’ zone, sensory tent and open mic performances in the Cotton Building near the park.

Food booths will be run by Barbarian Fine Cuisine and La Cocina, which will also host a margarita and beer garden.

Kitaji said past events had drawn more than 1,000 people. Up to 2,000 are expected this year.

The area around Pope Marine Park will be fenced off, and there will be a controlled entrance to the celebration, but admission is free. Service dogs will be allowed, but pets are highly discouraged.

More information on the event and a schedule of performances can be found at the TPA’s website, theproductionalliance.org.

According to the Library of Congress, June is celebrated as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month in honor of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City in June 1969, a pivotal moment for the LGBTQ+ rights movement in the United States.

The federal government first recognized June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month in 1999.

Pride celebrations are scheduled throughout the month of June, including Port Angeles’ Pride on the Pier on June 23 and Sequim Pride on June 29.

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Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at peter.segall@peninsulanews.us.

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