This weekend, Ogden will join the growing number of cities in Utah that have launched their own LGBT events by throwing their first Pride Festival. On Aug. 1, the festival will take over the Municipal Gardens & Amphitheater on Historic 25th Street for a day for performances and exhibitions, all to promote equality in Weber County and solidify another section of Utah as being LGBT-friendly and supportive. Today, we chat with one of the Ogden Pride board members, Tanner Snow, about the organization and this weekend's events. (All pictures courtesy of Ogden Pride.
Gavin: How did Ogden Pride eventually come together as a group?
Ogden Pride was started with the Northern Utah Coalition. A group of about five individuals got together and decided that its time we had a festival in Northern Utah to celebrate love and equality. So they did just that!
Gavin: Once you were established, what made you decide to throw your own Pride Festival?
Ogden Pride was created to bridge the communities. What better way to bridge those communities than to throw a festival where everyone is invited to get to know and understand one another better. Celebrate similarities, differences and love.
Gavin: What was it like organizing the events and getting people involved?
Organizing the event was quite stressful! We knew the direction we wanted to go and the activities and events we wanted to have. But, being a first-time festival and going at this with very little resources, it was difficult to decide which events we could realistically pull off and still make fun for the community. Getting people involved was pretty simple. Once people heard we were having our very first Ogden Pride celebration, people jumped at the opportunity to be a part of something fresh and new.
Gavin: How has it been working with the city, and how did you settle on the Municipal Gardens as the location?
Working with the city has been great. They have been very generous in assisting us with what we need for the festival. Allowing us to rent out the Municipal Gardens was great because this park is in the heart of Ogden on Historic 25th Street. That is why we chose this park.
Gavin: Are you working with any local LGBT companies or organizations for this fest, or are you going at it alone?
We have gotten a lot of help from other LGBT organizations! Provo Pride just had their first festival a few years ago, and when we contacted them and asked them for help, they were able to tell us what worked for them and what could have been improved. Other LGBT organizations have helped us by donating money and resources, and others are having booths at the festival.
Gavin: How important is it for Ogden to have its own Pride Festival?
Having a Pride in Ogden is very important! We don’t have anything in Northern Utah like this. It is important for people who live up here to know they’re not alone. We have a whole community that is here, and supports everyone. Again, the festival is about bridging communities and that includes people in the LGBT community who come from all over Utah, including Ogden.
Gavin: What do you hope to achieve with the festival and the community members who attend?
I’ve said it a couple of times, but bridging the communities. Celebrating differences, similarities, love, acceptance and Utah! We also want people to have a good time meeting new people in the community. Bringing our community closer together.
Gavin: What can we expect from you and Ogden Pride for 2015 after the festival is done?
The festival has been a huge focus for us for the past few months, so as soon as the festival is over, we will start preparations for next year’s festival and for activities throughout the year! Stay tuned for some great things coming from Ogden Pride.
Gavin: For those curious, give us the full rundown of what people can see at the event.
The Festival is at the Ogden Municipal Gardens on historic 25th Street. The festival runs from 1-6 p.m with a full line up of entertainment on the main stage. Karaoke running the whole time. 30+ LGBT friendly vendors all around the park. A pet parade (so bring your pets all dressed up!), carnival games, bouncy houses, and lots of fun! You can visit our website or our Facebook page
at Ogden Pride Inc. for more information!