Colorado Springs Pride Festival is celebrating several changes to its historic traditions in its 23rd year of celebrating the local LGBT community. PrideFest 2013 - Summer of Love! - will feature the traditional cos Pride Parade, but with a different route, the first annual Big Gay 5K as a partnership activity with Spree Racing LLC and an sensational new location.
So why premiere so many changes in 2013? cos Pride Center Board member Eric Markum remarked, "With so many exhilarating victories for the LGBT national community we just had to make The Pride Fest even bigger and better. The Colorado Springs Pride Festival was already a great event, but we welcome any chances to expand the LGBT community reach in Southern Colorado."
Also new for PrideFest is the location of the festival itself. For the past 22 years, The Colorado Springs Pride Festival was held in downtown Colorado Springs at Acacia Park. The new venue is still downtown, but further to the south west at America the Beautiful Park. Event organizers say that the new location has an excellent physical layout that will fully support the growing audience of over 25,000 for the Colorado Springs festival and parade. "We just plain outgrew Acacia on many levels and America the Beautiful Park will sustain us for many years." says board member Donald DeAngelis.
Another alteration of the festival is the route of the traditional Colorado Springs Pride Parade. This change has only been instituted in the last few days. "We had to have a new route that truly fit our novel location and the needs of the festival, while remaining cognitive of the needs of those around us." Said cos Pride Executive Director, Charles Irwin. We at Colorado Springs Pride are sensitive to our city's need for highway access and law enforcement resources due to heightened conditions of recent flood and fire disasters. We choose not to close any road in a spot that would hinder such access and streamlined our new route to help CSPD and other emergency responders to still protect citizens and property in fire and flood damaged areas.
Changing the parade route was also a way to unite parade walkers along a route that winds through the heart of Colorado Springs integrating historical sites such as the Pioneers Museum. The new route also ends in a smooth connection to America the Beautiful Park enabling walkers to immediately enjoy the festival at the conclusion of the parade.
Colorado Springs Pride also is premiering a 5K run - with a tongue in cheek name - The Big Gay 5K. The Big Gay 5K will take place at 10:00am Sunday July 21st, one hour before the Pride Parade. cos Pride President Dana Stevens says, "There are so many parts of our community that we are trying to connect with and an event that could connect and empower runners, cyclists and families was an opportunity that we had to take." Says the 5K organizer Clint Knox, "This race is for everyone; walkers, joggers, really fast runners, kids, adults, families, gay & straight. Come to run. Come to have fun. Come to support. Come to PRIDE!"