Iowa City Pride Fest 2019: Celebrating Culture and Inclusion

On June 15, the 49th annual Iowa City Pride Fest brought joy and color to a rainy day. With the energy of the Pride Parade and the participation of businesses and individuals from the community, Iowa City celebrated its LGBTQIA+ community.

Paras Bassuk, Photographer

As the focal event of Pride Week, thousands of members of the Iowa City area headed downtown on June 15 to celebrate inclusivity and the LGBTQIA+ community during the Iowa City Pride Festival. Local drag performers conducted family-friendly activities, and organizations like Students Against School Shootings and Moms Demand Action had tents at the Vendor Fair.

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  • “The first time I went to Pride last year, I was surrounded by all these people just like me and filled with love," said Michelle Kim '20. "This year had the same energy and more people and that’s what I love about Pride. It just brings like-minded people together to celebrate love.”

    Paras Bassuk

  • Catty Jones ‘22 and Heidi Schmidt-Rundell ’21 walk in the Pride Parade. In colorful attire, they joined hundreds of others to represent, support, and celebrate the diverse Iowa City community.

    Paras Bassuk

  • The participation of adults in the parade contributed to creating an inclusive community during the parade. “I think it was awesome that so many people had on Free Mom Hugs t-shirts. Even though Pride can feel like such a community, people often miss their birth family," said McKenna Proud '21.

    Paras Bassuk

  • Protestors of the event held signs that condemned the LGBTQIA+ community. This negative presence was peacefully met by attendants of the festival who held up large umbrellas to shield the signs from view.

    Paras Bassuk

  • “I think, overall, Pride is amazing. I think Pride brings together a strong community and serves as a way to connect and remember we aren’t alone," said Kat Hagan '19. "Overall, there were only about two or three protestors.”

    Paras Bassuk

  • A happy member of the parade looks back with a smile. Participants carried various flags representing solidarity and identification with the LGBTQIA+ community.

    Paras Bassuk

  • The ICCSD represented its support for Iowa City Pride as many students participated in the parade. “[Pride] was a really happy and fun celebration of people being themselves,” said Olivia Barker ’20.

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