Eugene Pride Goes Big for 2022
It’s August and that means Eugene Pride!
The event weekend kicked off on Friday with two pre-Pride parties—one at the Monkey’s Paw in Springfield at 8 p.m. and another at Cowfish Dance Club in Eugene at 9:30 p.m.—that were hosted by The Glamazons.
The official festival happened the next day but was preceded by a rally and march beginning at Spectrum Queer Bar on Broadway starting at 10:30 a.m.
By the time the rally started, there were several hundred people standing on both sides of the sidewalk and in the street mingling with friends and making new ones.
Following a land acknowledgement, Spectrum’s general manager Kiki Boniki came on the microphone and said that, due to the day’s temperatures, the air-conditioned bar would stay open all day. Boniki also emphasized that Spectrum is a safe space for all Queer identities.
Then, Paris Woodward-Ganz, who was asked to speak within a week of the event, recited one of their poems to the crowd followed by Black Unity’s Claire Michelle and Kinaya Haug who spoke about the intersection between Stonewall and the current fight for racial justice.
Just before 11 a.m., the Raging Grannies began singing in chorus as the crowd of around 600 people gathered in the street and prepared to march towards Alton Baker Park where the festival was being held. They began a few minutes later.
About a half hour later, the march had arrived at the festival which, compared to previous years’ events, was twice the size and filled up the entire park. The festival’s crowd was proportionately larger, too.
Excitingly, many visitors were welcomed by a certain out-of-town special guest as they arrived with Portland’s own Caesar the No Drama Llama visiting Pride with his very own rainbow scarf.
The festival consisted of a main stage, community stage, beer garden, family zone, pet zone, and around 200 tents with vendors and sponsors.
The main stage was emceed by two Glamazons: Daphne Storm and Diva Simone who introduced the featured performances throughout the day. The first performance, after a scholarship presentation, was by the Eugene Gay Mens Chorus followed by Lyta’s Drag Revue and then a set by Club Neveau.
Other main stage performances included a comedy hour, a drag variety show, and another DJ set before wrapping up with The Glamazons performance.
At another part of the park, near the beer garden, was the community stage. There, the Raging Grannies performed another set of songs, there was a drag queen story-time for kids, and a poetry slam.
The community was also entertained with music by Femme Dagger, Tender Desertrat, and Osprey Flies The Nest along with another comedy hour, a dance class, and the chance to step up to an open mic.
The festival ended at 6 p.m. and, notably, without a visit from the RV Saltshakers who, in years past, have shown up with their Christian-based anti-Queer signs. The same night, an All Stars Pride Party commenced at Spectrum beginning at 9 p.m.
DSM will be publishing an additional two editorials regarding this year’s event being both kink inclusive and family friendly.