Thousands Celebrate Utah Pride Week With Rainbow March & Rally

Jun 6, 2021, 6:46 PM | Updated: 9:11 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Thousands of people gathered in downtown Salt Lake City for the return of PRIDE Festivities as part of Utah Pride Week.

The annual festival was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the promise that this year would be like no other.

The event came back in full force as Pride Week — with celebrations in support of the LGBTQ+ Community — all culminated Sunday with a Rainbow March & Rally.

Due to COVID-19 safety measures, the traditional parade was swapped out for the march, which boasted a 200-foot rainbow flag all the way to Liberty Park.

“It’s emotional,” said Tanya Hawkins, vice chair of the Utah Price Center. “I’m so happy. I’m so honored.”

After a year in isolation, Hawkins said she was grateful to once again gather in-person.

“You know, I missed them. I miss people,” she said. “It’s like home again.”

“That’s right. It’s time to come out of the closet, out of your house and just celebrate!” said Paulmichael Maxfield, who attended the march.

The event was a little scaled back, but that didn’t stop thousands from celebrating.

“There were moments where I was talking to my friends — we’re getting chills,” said Inoke Langi, who celebrated at Sunday’s event. “This is so amazing that there’s all these people here supporting us.”

For those who couldn’t attend any of the Pride Week events, the Pride Story Garden exhibit will remain open through Monday. Proceeds will benefit the Utah Pride Center’s community outreach services.

“I’m so excited! I’m so excited! Like, the representation is amazing,” said Noni Blake who came out to celebrate.

The rest of festivities, like music stage and food vendors, were expected to make a full comeback in 2022 when the pandemic ends.

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Thousands Celebrate Utah Pride Week With Rainbow March & Rally