QC Pride is coming back strong after flooding forced its annual Pride celebration to be rescheduled.
A week of fun is scheduled for June 22 to 28, with a parade, family skate day, movie, cruise, bar crawl, and pageant. Led by community organizer Michelle Royal, the group helping to revive this year’s Pride celebrations hopes to pull out an even bigger crowd th
an last year.
“We could have pulled the plug and said see you next year,” Royal said. “But we have sponsors in place. The water’s supposed to be below flood stage by next weekend, and people are going to be looking for things to do.”
Royal said recent happenings at the federal level, most notably oppressive policies against transgender people, make it important to ensure this year’s QC Pride happens in spite of the flooding that has plagued eastern Iowa for most of this spring.
“Look, two years of being suppressed and erased from any protections that this United States government granted us prior has been real hard on the LGBTQ community,” said Royal, owner of Hickey Brothers smoke and vape shop.
This year’s QC Pride celebrations spans six days:
• Saturday: the Radisson and QC Unity Pride join together to host a pre-parade Brunch, starting at 9 a.m. The Unity Pride Parade begins at 11 a.m. and is followed by a Pride after-party until 9 p.m. along 3rd Avenue, featuring music and food.
• Sunday: A dinner cruise in honor of the late Tim Groover, former member of QC Unity Pride, departs at 4:30 p.m. and continues until 7 p.m. The evening includes a full-course Captain’s Dinner followed by dancing and mingling.
• Monday: the Putnam Museum presents a showing of “Stonewall” starting at 6 p.m.
• Tuesday: the Eldridge Community SkatePark welcomes QC Unity Pride for a Family Skate Day starting at 5 p.m. with special exhibitions by the QC Rollers.
• Wednesday: Traverse a collection of LGBTQ-affirming nightspots at the Pink Squirrel Pub Crawl – Iowa side, including Analog Arcade Bar, Bad Boyz Pizza and Pub, Blackhawk Bowl & Martini Lounge, Boozies Bar & Grill, Cru Bottle Shoppe, Endless Brews, Front Street Brewery & Taproom, Great River Brewery, Kilkenny’s Pub, Macstavern Davenport, Mary’s On 2nd, The Office Bar & Lounge, The Phoenix of Davenport Restaurant & Martini Bar, and Van’s Pizza, Pub & Grill – Downtown Davenport
• Thursday: On this night it’s time to hit the Illinois side of the Pink Squirrel Pub Crawl, including The Arena, Bent River Brewing Company – Rock Island, Big Swing Brewing Company, Billy Bobs Redneck Party Bar, Daiquiri Factory, ICONS MARTINI, Roosters Sports Bar & Grill, Rozz-Tox, Steve’s Old Time Tap, The Black Sheep, and WAKE Brewing
• Friday: Join in the celebration of the e in the Unity Pride Pageant, starting at 8 p.m.
This is the second year QC Pride has revived itself to hold Pride celebrations in the summer. The group formed back in the early 2000s then disbanded for a few years because of member burnout.
Royal said an estimated 1,600 people attended last year’s parade, and she expects about that many this year. The week’s activities also include a Pride Pub Crawl over two nights, with one night each devoted to each state. For a full list of events, go to www. qcunitypride.org