OLYMPIA - There still is time to celebrate Capital City Pride this weekend. The annual parade celebrating gay pride and supporting gay rights starts at noon today.
For the first time, the Capital City Pride festival was spread over both Saturday and Sunday. Entertainment and booths were available Saturday at Sylvester Park, and several downtown locations held evening events, including a masquerade ball at UCAN’s new offices on Fourth Street.
Saturday afternoon, people enjoyed temperatures in the 70s as they browsed the craft vendors, got information from nonprofit groups and service organizations and enjoyed entertainment, which included Olympia singer-songwriter Kimya Dawson and a drag show.
Susan McClintock of Olympia said it’s important that she brings her daughter, Aubyana, to the festival every year.
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“I’m queer, and I want to show support,” Susan McClintock said.
The change was in response to festival-goers who wanted the festival to be held on Saturday, and for businesses and hotels that wanted to attract out-of-town visitors and vendors, said Capital City Pride chairman Daniel Furrer.
Next year, the festival organizers hope to expand the booths and vendors to both Saturday and Sunday, he said.
Robert Bohorquez of Olympia said he and his partner have come to the festival for four years, rain or shine. The couple moved to Olympia about two years ago from Seattle, and although Olympia’s celebration is smaller than festivals in Seattle or San Francisco, it’s not a drawback, Bohorquez said.
“The vibes are just as good and just as positive,” he said.
This year’s Pride Day Award was given to Lacey resident Janice Langbehn, who was barred from seeing her dying partner Lisa Pond by doctors and nurses at a Miami hospital. Their story inspired an executive memorandum that hospitals recognize same-gender partners. President Barack Obama called Langbehn this year to discuss how her family’s story influenced the order.
It was at the 2007 Capital City Pride festival, four months after Pond’s death, that Langbehn first shared their story in a public forum.
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