First-ever LGBTQ+ Pride Parade, NGPA parties help Cedar Rapids kick off events

CR Pride cover 1

CEDAR RAPIDS — CR Pride in eastern Iowa gets a start on Pride Month Saturday with Cedar Rapids’ first-ever LGBTQ+ Pride parade.

Happening more than a month before the city’s full Pride Fest July 9, the early afternoon parade also helps CRPride celebrate 30 years of existence.

Organizers expect a mix of groups, candidates and individuals to participate. And for those who are not marching or walking in the parade, you’re encouraged to join in by lining the parade route along 3rd Street between 10th Avenue SE and 16th Avenue, says parade coordinator Jennifer Stewart.

“We really want people to join in, or just come out and enjoy,” Stewart says. The parade starts at 1 p.m. and is expected to last 60 to 90 minutes.  “Our community here has been asking for a parade for 10 years,” says CR Pride President Corey Jacobson, emphasizing that “anything goes” for marchers.

NGPA board
The National Gay Pilots Association (board members pictured above) and CR Pride host a “block party” at the Eastern Iowa Airport Sunday afternoon.

The Cedar Rapids Pride Parade is one of several events Cedar Rapids is holding this weekend and through June, ahead of its expanded annual festival happening at NewBo City Market July 9. Here’s a rundown of more:

  • June 5: The National Gay Pilots Association hosts a Wings Over Iowa “block party” at the Eastern Iowa Airport, featuring vendors and a showing of NGPA members’ planes. The event is one of several events the NGPA is holding throughout the year to advocate on behalf of aviation, and against discrimination.
  • June 12: CR Pride Ride is an annual tradition bringing together bicycle enthusiasts for a casual Pride-themed ride through town.
  • June 12: the new “Show up and Show Out” at Lion Bridge Brewing Co. is a brunch event to raise money for the LGBTQ Center at Tanager Place. Regular attendance is $50, but middle and high school youth can attend for free. Register here.
  • June 17: Pride at the Ballpark with the Cedar Rapids Kernels is another longtime Pride tradition in Cedar Rapids. Use the code ‘pride’ on the Kernels’ website to get your discounted ticket.
  • July 9: The big annual festival is expanded this year starting at 11 a.m. and continuing all day and evening with several connected events. Find drag performers, vendors, food, a silent disco and live music at the main festival. Afterwards CSPS hosts an after-party with more drag; the renovated LGBTQ+ bar Club Basix co-hosts.
Pride Party CR Pride June 4
The NGPA and CR Pride also team up for a $50 fundraising event Saturday evening.

The group is also hosting a Drag Brunch at the Chophouse July 10, but that event is already sold out.

For more information on Cedar Rapids Pride plans, go to crpideia.com.

For a rundown of Pride events all throughout Iowa and Illinois, go to The Real Mainstream’s Pride 2022 calendar.

CR Pride Ride
The annual CR Pride Ride takes place June 12 this year.

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