NWA Pride Parade / Photo: Todd Gill, Flyer Staff
The 13th annual NWA Pride Parade will expand to include a weekend-long festival in 2018.
The festival, organized by NWA Equality, will kick off with several events scheduled around the region on Thursday and Friday night (June 14-15), before culminating with the annual parade and downtown festival on Saturday, June 16.
When: June 14-17
Where: Downtown Fayetteville
More info: pride.nwaquality.com
The schedule kicks off on Thursday with a Dine with Pride progressive dinner at a handful of Bentonville restaurants, along with a Pride Party on the Patio at Dickson Street Pub, and a Pride Karaoke Event at Infusion on Dickson Street.
Friday night, an evening of cocktails and film screenings are planned at the Chancellor Hotel. The cocktails are being created by members of the NWA Bartenders Guild, and a series of five award-winning LBGTQ short films will be shown courtesy of the folks behind Fayetteville Film Festival.
The main event will take place on Saturday. An NWA Pride bike ride from Springdale to Fayetteville will begin at 9 a.m., and will make it’s way from the downtown area in Springdale down to the main festival area in Fayetteville. After that, a ticketed balcony brunch at Bordinos is planned beginning at 10 a.m.
The annual NWA Pride Parade will begin at noon, and will make its way down Dickson Street where it will end in a rally in the Walton Arts Center lot on West Avenue. Speakers at the rally include Grand Marshal Holly Dickson of the ACLU, Grand Marshal Cathy Campbell of PFLAG, and Fayetteville mayor Lioneld Jordan.
There will be three stages of live music during the day on Saturday, including the Lost 40 stage in the lot behind Shulertown featuring performances by DJ Robe Flax, Miss Gay Arkansas Cassandra Rae, Taylor Madison Monrie, Dial Up, Iman D’marco, Shawn Tyler Andrews, and Leah & The Mojo Doctors.
The WAC Rose Garden will host a family-friendly entertainment from 2 p.m. until around 5 p.m. including Drag Queen Story Time and performances by Arkansas Circus Arts.
Kingfish will host live music and entertainment from around 1:45 p.m. until around 6 p.m., including a ‘Bears’ contest beginning at around 2:45 p.m.
Late night events on Saturday include Pride at Night at 21st Amendment, and the annual White Party at C4 Nightclub.
On Sunday, a poolside brunch is planned at The Chancellor from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., and will feature music by DJ Adam Moore.
Organizers are still seeking folks to volunteer to help out with various aspects of the event, and you can sign up here.
For more information, including a full schedule of events and entertainment for this year’s festival, visit pride.nwaequality.org.