It’s been one year and Logan has even more pride to give.
Logan Pride, which received high praise in 2016 from a community confronting the harsh reality of a recent string of LGBT suicides, was the rainbow after the storm – and this year the family friendly event is even more ambitious – even if its goals haven’t changed.
“I got involved with Logan Pride because it is important to me that my daughters are growing up in a community that is all inclusive,” said Crista Sorenson, the Logan Pride vendor and sponsorship coordinator. “We came to Logan so I could attend [Utah State University], knowing that we can have events like Logan Pride helps solidify my choice to stay in the valley and raise my kids.”
On Sept. 9, the annual event will settle into its new venue at Willow Park in Logan from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. where two stages will host all-day live entertainment ranging from music to belly dancers. The park grounds will have food trucks, a Youth Zone and a new Pet Adoption Zone in partnership with the Cache Humane Society.
All of which smoothly came together because of year-long planning and supportive community leaders and businesses, according to Logan Pride entertainment coordinator Randy Golding.
The 2016 festival was organized largely by local community resource centers who had only a few months to piece together sponsors, permits, vendors, entertainment and appearances ranging from a candidate for Cache Valley’s fifth district to Misty Snow, the first transgender nominee for a major party to run for a U.S. Senate seat. But this year, the Logan Pride Committee got a much-needed head start and began planning in January.
A new feature that required the cooperation of Logan Mayor Craig Petersen will allow festivalgoers to adopt animals from the Cache Humane Society at Willow Park, which adopters will have to then take outside of park grounds. The past year’s Youth Zone, an area for children and parents, will include more games and a free clothing exchange rack.
Local politicians will be back, too.
Candidate for Logan City Council Paul Rogers will appear as well as Logan City Council candidate Stephen Thompson to address the festival, which expects around 2,500 people throughout the day.
“They’re going on stage to talk about LGBTQ issues that affect the community,” Golding said, “because despite our differences we can come together in peace and love and still show pride.”
That’s what this event is really all about, after all, according to festival organizers.
“Supporting Logan Pride isn’t about identifying as a queer individual: it’s about inclusion,” said Rikki Wheatley-Boxx, the Logan Pride Youth Zone coordinator. “It’s about creating a supportive community where individual differences, of all kinds, are celebrated and our friends and neighbors feel safe. It’s an important step in fighting discrimination and hate at a local level.”
The morning of the event will feature the Logan Pride Interfaith Service at St. John’s Episcopal Church, which Logan Pride interfaith director Doree Burt said is all about support.
“Too often those within the queer community have received the message that they must choose between their true identity and their spiritual self; that two parts of their complete person can’t coexist,” she said. “This is wrong and cruel. An interfaith service is such an important and beautiful part of Logan Pride. It’s where we gather in peace, love, unity, and joy.”
Golding echoed Burt’s sentiments.
“This really is about: peace, pride, love.”
Update: The Statesman has learned that Brian Seamons will no longer be a speaker featured at Logan Pride. This story has been updated to replace Seamons with Logan City Council candidate Stephen Thompson.