Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pride in the Park

This is Tristen; you may recognize her from her photo in the paper. She is one of the organizers of Pride Corvallis, the first (and hopefully annual) lesbian and gay pride festival in Corvallis .

When I first heard about the event a couple weeks ago, I sent an e-mail asking if they needed volunteers. Tristen wrote back and said I could help set up. This mainly consisted of unloading tables, chairs, and one ridiculously heavy generator (for the 'bouncy castle') from trucks, but constructing the helium balloon arch was easily the highlight.

I missed the actual parade (I went to the Farmer's Market instead), but after lunch I came back to the park with my juggling props and juggled, took in the sights, listened to the music, visited the vendor booths, and juggled some more.

This was the most wholesome Pride event I've ever attended. There was no alcohol, lots of folks my age, and lots of little kids (there was a kids area with games, face-painting, and that bouncy castle). If this had been my first Pride festival 20 years ago, I'd have been disappointed. Back then I was young and looking for a wild time; I enjoyed seeing people in their fetish gear with their slaves on a leash, mostly naked go-go dancers, and flamboyant drag queens lip-syncing to disco. But now I'm much more mellow and I really appreciate the family-friendly and laid-back atmosphere.

I do wish there had been more shirtless guys though.


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