Pride Festivals Past | Buzz Blog
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Pride Festivals Past

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Now that the annual Running of the Gays has passed, I've been thinking about the evolution of the Utah Pride Festival. The price of a ticket keeps going up, but then it's become a fine, big downtown event.

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When I was younger, Gay Pride Day was a much smaller affair; it was held on a Sunday at some pavilion in one of the county parks, and the TV stations would send out camera crews and everybody complained that they intentionally underreported the number of attendees.

Our leather club would raise funds by chasing people around with water pistols, handcuffing them and locking them in a cell for a short time. Victims could pay $5 to get out and/or to turn the tables on the person who had paid to have them “arrested.” They were innocent times.

Now, it’s a three-day festival held at Library Square, and the City and County Building flies a rainbow flag. There are corporate and media sponsors, and ticket sales leave no doubt about how many people showed up. The event attracts a lot of non-gay hipsters and families with kids, and it seems a great deal of money changes hands.

This is, I suspect, progress. The LGBT community has come a long way in the past 25 years.

I’m pretty sure they’d never let anybody run around handcuffing people at Pride these days, though.

Brandon's Big Gay Blog