Inaugural pride festival an event for ‘everybody’

-A A +A
By Bennett Horne

Organizers of the first Los Alamos Pride Festival want their event to reflect the same belief of their community, the ideal that Los Alamos is for everybody.

“The purpose is to be making a statement in Los Alamos, the statement that we support everybody,” said George Marsden, the assistant director of the Los Alamos Teen Center. “This community is for everybody and this would be a great chance to experience this in Los Alamos.”

The event will be from 4-7 p.m. Friday at Fuller Lodge.

“For me, coming from the standpoint of someone who works with youth in the community, the big thing is that this is a chance to let LGBTQ+ youth know that they’re important, that they matter, that they’re amazing just how they are and for just who they are,” Marsden said. “That’s a major issue around the country, but certainly a major issue in our community. Lots of those youth don’t feel valued, they don’t feel OK and that leads to kids having a hard time and higher suicide rates, things like that.”

The festival will feature a karaoke sing-a-long, lawn games, face/body painting, a coming out door, a story time blanket and an over the rainbow bubble challenge, as well as an education station and information provided by local LGBTQ+ organizations and partners.

“There have been a lot of people involved with putting this together and a lot of youth have been in on the planning, too,” said Marsden.

The event is scheduled to lead into the weekly concert series and this week’s performance by the Red Elvises, which has also been designated as Pride Night. Damien Tsiagkouris will speak on behalf of the pride festival at the concert.

Marsden said the festival organizers want to show that this event is for everybody.

“That’s the point. It’s a celebratory, family friendly event, very specifically that way,” he said. “It’s very much in the nature of Los Alamos. There’s lots of communities where there’s big huge wild pride parades and big huge wild other things that go on. This is going to be a pride event that has that Los Alamos flavor. Los Alamos is about being low-key, family, fun, everybody together and that’s what this event is about. It’s about being open, family friendly and celebrating everybody.”

Marsden said there has already been a lot of positive response from the community regarding the event, with most of the comments reflecting an appreciation for its creation.

“There’s a Friends of Los Alamos Pride Facebook page and it’s been interesting to see some of the comments from people on that page, like, ‘I never thought I’d see this in Los Alamos. I’m so excited. It was tough for me growing up in Los Alamos and now I see that things are changing,’” he said.