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CEDAR RAPIDS — Iowa’s second-largest city has its Pride time in the spotlight this weekend, with its biggest fest ever and an evening party at CSPS.

CR Pride Fest takes place noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids’ Czech Village. The big event is happening after a full six weeks already for CR Pride, which has also already held a Pride parade with record-setting attendance of 6,000 in early June, a Pride picnic, and several other events.

This year’s CR Pride Fest has the largest number of sponsors, vendors and community partners ever, says president Corey Jacobson, with 115 to be represented at the event.

“The Cedar Rapids Metro area is truly a welcoming place for all ,” says Jacobson. “I look forward to helping spread the message of love and acceptance, and reinforcing that the LGBTQIA+ community has a place here and belongs in the metro area.”

CR Pride Fest features art reception, food trucks, live music, groundbreaking drag queens

The big weekend for CR Pride actually starts Friday night with an opening reception for a showcase of LGBTQ+ artists at CSPS Hall from 5 to 7 p.m.. The show’s theme is “Our State of Being” and is presented in conjunction with the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Linn County, and Tanager Place, which hosts an LGBTQ youth group.

Saturday’s fun starts at noon and continues to 6 p.m.. Performers include Kylie Sonique Love,  winner of Season 6 and the first-ever transgender contestant to win RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Violet Chachki, winner of Season 7 who made history last month as the first-ever RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant to have a full Vogue cover.


Live music is also a key part of the Saturday festival. Performers include young rockers from School of Rock Cedar Rapids/Marion and a set from the Blake Shaw Jazz Band. Shaw is entertainment coordinator for Iowa City Pride, and jazz director at Mount Vernon’s Cornell College.

Saturday night, CR Pride continues the celebration with an extended drag performance by the two RuPaul’s Drag Race stars, also at CSPS Hall. Ticketsto this event is $40 to $100 and are available here.

For more information about CR Pride, including links to all of the weekend’s events, head to

(cover photo features, clockwise from top left: Kylie Sonique Love, the CR Pride Fest logo, Blake Shaw, logo for the “Our State of Being” art show, and Violet Chachki)