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(updated 11:30 pm June 16)

IOWA — Juneteenth-themed events — some of which are intersectional and overlap with LGBTQ Pride celebrations — are happening from Sioux City to Mason City to Iowa City this year. Communities holding larger-than-ever Juneteenth events to celebrate the formal abolition of slavery in 1865 include Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Dubuque and Iowa City.

Meanwhile, this week is Iowa City’s mini-Pride (the main festival was rescheduled to October), with a week of activities centered around Studio 13. The mini-Pride starts tonight with a bar crawl that starts at Players, continues to Studio 13, then to El Ray’s, heads to the Sports Column, then Micky’s Irish Pub, before ending at midnight at The Deadwood. Studio has Pride events scheduled every night this week, culminating with its 21st anniversary celebration Friday and a Juneteenth drag show Saturday. The City of Iowa City also steps forward with a Pride Pool Party Saturday in collaboration with Iowa City Pride. Other Pride events coming together in Iowa City include an Open Mic night at SideKick Coffee Monday night, and a Stonewall documentary screening June 28 through the City of Iowa City.

Other standout Juneteenth events this weekend in Iowa:

  • Cedar Rapids offers a festival, plus a Black-owned vendor market at Newbo City Market Saturday
  • Davenport’s Lincoln Center and Friends of MLK host a huge showcase and party starting 11 a.m. Saturday
  • Mason City hosts a 2nd annual Juneteenth gathering at Monroe Park Saturday featuring music and fun
  • Sioux City holds its special Juneteenth event Wednesday, with a picnic. Thought hosted by the Woodbury County Democrats, all are welcome to join the celebration of the end of slavery.

Click here for the full Iowa Events Calendar, featuring more intersectional, progressive, LGBTQ-affirming events. Read on for more Community Briefs throughout Iowa:

CEDAR RAPIDS — CRPridefest couldn’t quite pull it together for this year’s traditional in-person extravaganza at Newbo City Market, normally held in July. But the group is now on the rebound and offering events — including a kick-off for 2022 on July 10, a “Pride Night at the Kernels Aug. 6, and a Fall Picnic on Sept. 19 at Noelridge Splash Park. Marion Public Library has also stepped forward to offer an outdoor Pride Storytime for kids ages 3 to 8, on June 30.


DAVENPORT AND THE QUAD CITIES — In-person gatherings have returned for two intersectional, progressive places of faith. Both the UUC of the Quad Cities and the MCC of the Quad Cities, allies in forming the One Human Family anti-hate group, are now meeting both in person and online. Both congregations met for more than a year online only. The Unitarian Universalist Congregation is part of a worldwide non-denominational organization focused on social justice. The Metropolitan Community Church organization is a worldwide coalition of LGBTQ-identified Christian churches that like Unitarian Universalists also welcome people of all faiths, including atheists.

DES MOINES — This year’s Iowa Juneteenth 2021 in Des Moines on Saturday features a first-time collaboration with Iowa Queer Communities of Color and Capital City Pride: Manifestival. The event within the event aims to “manifest & uplift an active community of creative folks of color; bringing artists performers & entrepreneurs together.” The event starts at 11 and continues throughout the day.

DES MOINES — Capital City Pride’s “30 Days of Pride” still has 14 more days — and events! Click here to find the full line-up for Capital City Pride through June 30. You’ll find more drag shows, an online session with anti-racism activist Jane Elliott, a safari day, and more.

DUBUQUE — You have six opportunities to celebrate Pride in Dubuque this year, with an unprecedented six days of activities starting June 19 — all focused on a different way to celebrate Pride Month. A pass to all events is available for $100 — or you can choose a la carte from the events, all of which are listed here at Key City Pride’s website. The week of events includes bingo, a river cruise, a “friends and family night,” a bar crawl, brunch, and the big parade and festival Saturday. You can also check out the group’s Facebook page for the latest.

DUBUQUE — Juneteenth in Dubuque has two special highlights this year. Starting at noon, join the Multicultural Family Center in a family-friendly event featuring Black-owned businesses, food, music, games and more. Later, at 10 p.m., take in a Juneteenth Drag Showcase at The Driftless Inn featuring some of the region’s top Black drag performers.

DUBUQUE AND IOWA CITYThe Konnexion, a functional glass and smoking shop with stores in Iowa City and Dubuque, has been purchased by Omega Puff, a small business based in Minnesota. The Konnexion was founded 17 years ago by Coralville resident Kelly Stucker. Stucker has become certified professional stress management coach through her new business, Kelly Changed My Life Coaching and Consulting.

HUMBOLDT — For the second straight year, this northern Iowa town of 4,500 will host a Pride event the evening of Fri., June 25. The outdoor evening will feature performers, three panels that explore different aspects of LGBTQ community, and more. Donations will go to the Humboldt High School Gay Straight Alliance. Click here for more information.

IOWA CITY — A new mobile community closet to help needy eastern Iowa residents where they’re at is continuing to raise support. The new CCAN Mobile Community Closet seeks donations and also partnerships with restaurants that want to donate a percentage of their proceeds on publicized support days. within the past month CCAN has collaborated with Freddy’s Frozen Custard and The Map Room in Cedar Rapids; Sidekick Coffee & Books, Maestro Empanadas, Hudson’s Molly’s Cupcakes of Iowa City; and Quinton’s in Coralville. The next chance to support CCAN’s closet is July 13th, from 5 to 8 p.m. at VUE Rooftop. For more information, click here.


IOWA CITY — Juneteenth begins in Iowa City Wednesday, with a virtual resource fair featuring almost 30 vendors and three panels throughout the evening. It continues Thursday, with a downtown block party.

JOHNSON COUNTY — Jon Green, a confirmed friend to the LGBTQ community during his years as a delegate to the Iowa Democratic Party and mayor of Lone Tree, is now a Johnson County Supervisor. Green won a run-off election overwhelmingly in early June. Green helped lead an effort to ensure gender-neutral language in the Iowa State Democratic Party’s charter in 2019. “I take the responsibility damn seriously,” Green told the Press-Citizen before his swearing in Tuesday.

QUAD CITIES — Pride continues in the Quad Cities this week with another offering by The Project of the Quad Cities: Thursday’s Pride Night at Modern Woodsmen Park. Tickets purchased with the “pride” code at for Thursday night’s game will help benefit The Project’s initiative to provide LBGTQ-focused health care to its clients throughout 13 Illinois counties and nine Iowa counties. The Project also stepped forward to coordinate Pride at Bass Street Landing earlier this month, bringing youth and adult drag shows, live music and a vendor fair to the Quad Cities. The Quad Cities area will enjoy its big annual festival this fall.

QUAD CITIES — Two events in the Quad Cities are focused on helping Black and Brown youth. Coming June 22, several Quad Cities organizations are hosting an online webinar titled “Race, Adolescence and Trauma.” The event is led by Kristin Henning of Georgetown Law, exploring how racial disparities in education affect children of color. The webinar is free and is presented by One Human Family, UUC of the Quad Cities, Metrocom NAACP of Davenport, and Progressive Action for the Common Good. In addition, several Quad Cities groups are joining together to present “Pushout,” a documentary about “the criminalization of Black girls in schools.” The film shows July 15 in Bettendorf; Aug. 11 in Rock Island; and Aug. 14 in Moline. The screenings are presented by the Quad Cities Interfaith Council, and the Davenport Civil Rights Commission. Watch the Facebook page for more details.

SIOUX CITY — “Miss Sioux City Latina” will celebrate the end of her reign this weekend at Eclipse Nightclub with an all-Hispanic/Latina line-up. Eclipse is the only openly LGBTQ-affirming nightspot within a 100-mile radius, says show director Vanessa Divine, who is also outgoing Miss Sioux City Latina. Saturday’s “step-down” show is a precursor to the July 17 pageant for the new Miss Sioux City Latina. Watch the bar’s Facebook page for more.

(cover photo features, from left: cover for the film “Pushout,” Dr. Karen Henning who will lead a discussion June 22 of adolescent trauma and race; a Juneteenth image from Key City Pride; and Studio 13’s Pride month logo to celebrate its 21st anniversary this Friday. To share your Community Briefs, click here)