Pride in the Park keeps growing, includes performance from G Flip |

Pride in the Park keeps growing, includes performance from G Flip

LGBTQ community, allies grow loud and proud in preparation for Pride Month

Mountain Pride and the local LGBTQ community and its allies are preparing for the fourth annual Pride in the Park celebration, which will take place Saturday, June 3, in Avon.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

For members of the LGBTQ community and its allies, June marks the celebration of Pride Month. Pride Month was started to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, which spurred a movement of queer liberation that continues today.

This year, as Eagle County prepares for its annual Pride in the Park celebration on Saturday, June 3, and numerous events throughout the month, it’s an important time to reflect on the need for this type of visibility, advocacy and celebration in the local community, said Madison Partridge, the executive director of Mountain Pride.

“Lots of people ask why Pride Month is still needed, and to some people outside of the LGBTQ+ community, it can look like Pride isn’t necessary anymore,” Partridge said.

This doesn’t tell the whole story, however.

“June is not just time for celebration, it’s also a time to raise awareness of issues we experience being part of the LGBTQ+ community,” Partridge said. “It shines a light on the unique challenges we face so that we can support each other better. With over 490 anti-trans and LGBTQ+ bills across the country, it is more important now than ever that we are visible, loud and proud.”

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This visibility and outward display of pride goes a long way in building community. In its fourth year, Mountain Pride’s Pride in the Park — as well as various events happening across the Western Slope during Pride Month — raises the voices of those in a growing LGBTQ community.  

“Each year we see more and more people showing up and showing out,” Partridge said.

Each year, Pride in the Park in Avon puts on various performances. This year, the event will feature two drag shows.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

What started in 2020 as a grassroots effort led by Britny Rose to bring the first LGBTQ Pride event to Eagle County has grown in participation and activations in the subsequent three years. It even led to the creation of Mountain Pride, the county’s first LGBTQ support and advocacy nonprofit. Officially, the organization received its official 501(c)(3) status last June.

This year, Pride in the Park will be hosted at Harry A. Nottingham Park in Avon with nearly double the amount of vendors (including new queer-owned businesses and nonprofits), musical performances (from Trees Don’t Move and G Flip), drag shows, yoga and the annual Pride parade around the park.

“One of my personal favorite things about Pride in the Park is seeing everyone come together as one to show that we have a large community and support here,” Partridge said.

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This includes the “proud youth in our community showing up as their authentic selves — wearing their rainbow gear with pride flags draped over their shoulders” as well as adults.

“It’s also moving for queer adults to be in a space where they see peers and specifically youth showing up in that way, an opportunity that many LGBTQ+ adults never got the chance to do. It is also exciting to see so many families in our community embracing the diverse and unique identities of their kids,” Partridge said.

“In a time when there’s so much hate and negative rhetoric, this event is an opportunity to highlight the positivity that surrounds our community.”

If you go…

What: Pride in the Park
When: Saturday, June 3 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Harry A. Nottingham Park in Avon
Schedule of events:

  • Yoga with JP at 12 p.m.
  • Pride kick off with a local drag show at 1 p.m.
  • Pawshion Show at 2 p.m.
  • Out & Proud Drag Show at 3 p.m.
  • Trees Don’t Move musical performance at 4 p.m.
  • Pride Parade at 5 p.m.
  • G Flip musical performance at 6 p.m.

For a schedule of additional Pride events throughout the Western Slope in June, visit

Bursting with Pride

While Mountain Pride sprouted out of the Pride in the Park event, it has grown exponentially since then.

“It’s crazy to think how we have grown and evolved since the last Pride in the Park,” Partridge said.

This growth is largely driven by the need for this type of organization in the community, she added.

“The need for acceptance, visibility, celebration and a resource to turn to has always been the driving force behind Mountain Pride and Pride in the Park and until a few years ago, there was not a central force driving these needs,” Partridge said. “Mountain Pride is proud to serve this need. We have worked and will continue to work to build trust so that our community keeps showing and advocating for their needs.”

This growth has been seen within the organization of Pride in the Park as well. One of the most “impactful things” coming out of the local Pride celebrations is seen in a team of eight individuals “who have been instrumental in organizing and coordinating the Pride in the Park celebrations each year, investing countless hours of their time and energy to ensure the event is a resounding success,” Partridge said.

There are numerous flags that celebrate the diversity and spectrum of the LGBTQ community. Here, the gender fluid flag represents those whose gender identity and/or gender expression fluctuates during different times and different circumstances.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

Mountain Pride’s efforts have also grown outside of the Eagle River Valley to really “embrace the name,” Partridge said.

“The progress and growth we have made in such a short period of time has been truly remarkable. Through community events, increased visibility and valuable partnerships, we have been able to create a sense of celebration and belonging for the LGBTQ+ community in the mountains of Colorado,” she said. “One of the most inspiring aspects of this growth is the ripple effect it has had on other communities.”

Now, the organization has a presence in Summit County, Lake County and the Roaring Fork Valley.

This June, this expansion is seen through various Pride celebrations — in addition to the annual Avon event — in Breckenridge (on June 9 and 10), Glenwood Springs (on June 10), Silverthorne (on June 10) and Leadville (on June 17).

Throughout the month, additional community events include a 5-kilometer run, hikes, ski days, climbing, volunteer opportunities, educational seminars, drag brunches, pool parties and more.

‘Allyship is action’

Pride month offers an opportunity for the LGBTQ community to connect as well as raise awareness about the challenges facing the community.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

However, the past year has not been without challenges for the local LGBTQ community.

“With the debates over Pride flags in Gypsum and Avon and challenges to school-based and youth programming, we are seeing more and more attacks on our mission, our work, and our LGTBQ+ community,” Partridge said.

It’s for this reason that “community, allyship, and our work are now more important than ever,” she added.

While June represents a month to advocate for and celebrate the LGBTQ community, there is still much work to be done in the other 11 months of the year, particularly for allies, Partridge said.

“Allies — people who are not LGBTQ+ themselves — have done an enormous amount to advance the cause of LGBTQ+ equality. An ally can show support for LGBTQ+ friends, coworkers, classmates, neighbors, co-congregants, family members and others in a wide variety of ways,” Partridge said.

This includes participating in local elections to “defend the progress we’ve made and push for more,” she said.

Additional opportunities include calling out hateful rhetoric, having conversations about LGBTQ issues with your friends, children and community members, providing financial support to queer-owned businesses and LGBTQ nonprofits, as well as taking steps to be inclusive (through having inclusive signage and Progressive Pride flags as well as having policies to eliminate anti-LGBTQ rhetoric) as business owners, Partridge said.

“This year we need our allies to focus less on ‘love is love,’ and more on ‘queer and trans people are in danger.’ We need everyone to join us in empowering LGBTQ+ leaders, building safer, stronger communities and reducing stigma. We cannot rest until all LGBTQ+ people, specifically, transgender and gender non-conforming people can live our lives safely as our full selves,” Partridge said.

“Allyship is action.”

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