Pride Season 2023 kicks off in Iowa, Illinois with seven festivals, 15 related events, two film series
It can be overwhelming, with almost 100 Pride season events happening this year throughout Illinois and Iowa alone.
We can help. This is the first of our weekly Pride season updates through June, summarizing the big Pride Fests coming up, the smaller Pride events also happening soon, and info on how to register for even more Pride stuff.
We’re starting with this weekend’s Pride Month kick-off, starting with Pride Fests in Dubuque, Ottumwa and Sioux City in Iowa; Elgin, Niles and Rockford in Illinois; and the Quad Cities in both states.
Mount Vernon strives for unity with first-ever official LGBTQ Pride event Saturday
MOUNT VERNON, IL — Alexia Stallons and her colleagues have been working to strengthen a sense of LGBTQ+ pride in Mount Vernon for two years. Saturday, they’ll invite the community to join them in a family-friendly picnic and celebration.
It’s the first official Pride gathering for this southern Illinois town of about 15,000. You’ll find about 50 vendors, games galore, music and more.
The event is coordinated by OUT Mt Vernon, which Stallons says is focused on creating more “outreach, understanding and togetherness.”
Pride walk/runs in Des Moines, Moline, Niles, Tuscola fill LGBTQ communities’ need for family-friendly, healthy activities
It’s time to start walking, running, and rolling for Pride, with at least five Pride-themed 5Ks coming up in the next six weeks across Illinois and Iowa.
They all start tomorrow with the Southern Illinois Pride K Fun Walk and Run. You can join in person or virtually.
More Pride walk and run events are also coming in Niles outside of Chicago June 3; Tuscola, Ill., and Des Moines, Ia., June 10; and Moline in the Quad Cities June 25.
Read about why these events are extra important to the LGBTQ community — and especially this year.
Quad Cities’ only LGBTQ bar, Mary’s on 2nd, turns to community as Mississippi River waters rise
DAVENPORT — Dozens of volunteers are turning out daily to help build a sandbag barrier for Mary’s on 2nd, the Quad Cities’ only LGBTQ bar.
The crew are applying lessons learned from four years ago, when burst temporary levees sent Mississippi River water flowing throughout downtown Davenport and caused Mary’s on 2nd to close for three weeks.
Owner Bobby Stansberry is touched and inspired by the outpouring of support. Read about the effort here, and also what’s behind this year’s flood concerns.
Upcoming events from One Human Family in Davenport promote individuality, happiness, visibility
DAVENPORT — One Human Family is looking to have an impact with a trio of events coming up.
First, tap into your individuality with a workshop and “Sip & Paint Party” this Sunday.
Next, find inspiration to seek “Happiness in a Difficult World” through a free symposium May 6 with religion and ethics expert Diana Fritz Cates.
And then, you can join one of the most impactful civil rights efforts of our era, the NOH8 campaign. It’s coming to Davenport June 1, in its only scheduled stop in Iowa. You can be one of the 56,000 people nationwide who have joined the NOH* campaign since its founding in 2008.
Walkers, runners, pageant contestants sought by Southern Illinois Pride group
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS — It’s been four years since Southern Illinois chose its first-ever Pride Royalty. Blanche DuBois and Faim Lee Jewls have been volunteering as ambassadors for the art of drag, and for LGBTQ+ Pride, since then.
On May 13, that all changes. Drag veteran Jodie Santana is overseeing Southern Illinois’ first Pride Royalty Pageant in four years. To bring out more contestants, and to counter anti-drag sentiments that emerged over the past year in neighboring states, Pride in Action-Southern Il. is opening the pageant up to any competitors within a 150-mile radius. That includes Kentucky and Missouri.
Learn more about the Pageant, how to attend or get involved, and other pride efforts in southern Illinois.
Darwin Days in Iowa City, time to register for LSA of Eastern Iowa, events at Hope UCC and MCC of the Quad Cities, Paige Clouse for Ottumwa Pride, and more
EASTERN IOWA — Tonight, partake of some Reiki at Realive in Cedar Rapids, or get started at immersing yourself in science at the Iowa City Darwin Days.
Tomorrow, take a walk outside for Easter at Hope UCC, enjoy some acoustic sounds in Ottumwa, or snack on sweets and soup at MCC of the Quad Cities.
Next week, the entire family is invited to watch the art of glass-blowing live at The Hazy Hideaway, And April 16 is the big day to register for two fun things: a Homestyle Vegan Dinner in North Liberty, and LSA of Eastern Iowa’s upcoming season.
It’s all in the latest Eastern Iowa update.