Colorful crowd, rainbow of support

pride festival: Event highlighted by singing, dancing and a parade

ckrotzer@theolympian.comJune 10, 2012 

Lark Willis walked into Sylvester Park on Saturday wearing a purple hooded sweatshirt, pink skirt, fishnet stockings and two pairs of multicolored socks.

“I wanted to look like a rainbow,” said Lark, 13, of Olympia.

She and her equally colorfully-dressed friends – Noelle Walker, 13, Blue Tate, 11, and Karly Literal, 14 – attended the Capital City Pride festival to support their friends.

“This year I’m really impressed,” Karly said. “There are a lot more people here, and it’s good to have this support.”

The event started from humble roots in 1991 as Pride Day and since has grown into a two-day event, including a parade.

Music blasted from the stage as the smell of fair food hung in the air toward the start of the day’s festivities. Families wandered the closed-off streets of downtown Olympia, shopping among the various wares and learning about local nonprofit organizations.

Uma Rao spent the morning at the booth for the Pride Foundation, a nonprofit that provides scholarships to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Rao has been to several Capital City Pride events over the years.

“There are so many people out here to show support for the community,” Rao said. “All the different types of venues for the young, adult and the elderly.”

She’s anticipating this year will attract more people than ever. Organizers focused on attracting younger crowds.

“It’s great to see families out here, too,” Rao said.

The day’s events were to continue with a performance by dance-music artist Brian Kent, a dog show and a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender dance at the Urban Onion for those 21 and older.

Festivities will continue today with a parade that will begin at noon at the Capitol dome and end in Sylvester Park. Musical performances will follow the parade, as well as an LGBT Youth Talent Showcase. 360-754-5476 @chelseakrotzer