Submitted by Whatcom Pride

Whatcom Pride, a new organization, is taking on the mantle of organizing Pride events throughout Whatcom County. Whatcom Pride organized to fill a void in the community and to promote the ideals of Pride year-long throughout Whatcom County. Whatcom Pride has applied to be a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and is led by a small board of directors. Zay McShane, who was heavily involved in Bellingham Pride in years past, is the founder and President of the Board. Whatcom Pride aims to be engaged, collaborative, and inclusive.

While the Covid pandemic prevented the organization from hosting Pride events in 2020 and from hosting a full-fledged Pride Parade in 2021, they will be launching their presence in the community with a few smaller events throughout the summer.

The first event will be a Pop Up Pride Parade featuring a short route from Kulshan Brewing’s Trackside Brewery and Beer Garden, their new location near Way Point Park, up Chestnut Street to the Depot Market Square. The event will be from 1:00 to 4:00 pm on Sunday, July 11.

Participants are encouraged to walk, bike, skate, or wheel along the route and come dressed in their finest pride attire. Prizes will be awarded to registered entrants in five categories: Best Drag, Best Decorated (self/bike/wheelchair/etc.), Best Mask, Most Extra, and Best (Small) Group. Each category will have a youth winner and an adult winner, with prizes donated by community businesses and organizations including local businesses such as Rumors Cabaret, WinkWink, Kulshan Brewing, and Whatcom Youth Pride.

To enable social distancing, there is no official start time for the event. Participants can register and start the route any time between 1:00 and 4:00 pm; masks are encouraged. There will be a photo station at the end to get your photo taken and emailed to you.

Looking further out, Whatcom Pride hopes to host an event in August more similar to the event typically held at Depot Market Square in the past. Keep an eye out for more details. You can find information on their website at www.whatcompride.org or on its Facebook page. Whatcom Pride’s summer events wouldn’t be able to happen without our inaugural sponsor, Rumors Cabaret and The Backdoor, and the support of key community partners like Kulshan Brewing, Wink Wink, and Allied Arts of Whatcom County.

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