Celebrate pride in who you are

Minot Pride Festival Returns

Submitted Photo The Minot Pride Festival has grown over the years, but every year hosts a Rainbow Walk/Run 5K where contestants don their colors and the colors of the rainbow to run/walk and show their pride. On the same day, Pride in the Park will take place giving those of the LGBTQ+ and Minot community a chance to relax, learn, eat, and shop vendors who participate.

The Pride movement and celebrations have been around since 1970 and Pride Minot is working hard to make it all a part of Minot. Running from July 8-15, their annual Minot Pride Festival will be returning for the fourth year in a row and with much more to offer not only the LGBTQ+ community but the Minot community itself.

Pride Minot has been working hard to create their Minot Pride Festival with the goal, according to Pride Minot president Kylie Gamas, being the growth of pride in Minot through education, entertainment and social networking.

“Through any of our events, we hope to increase community awareness and participation, acceptance of diverse persons, and to offer enjoyable interactions amongst those in and out of the Pride community,” Gamas explained.

The Minot Pride Festival will kick off Sunday with an all ages event at Souris River Brewing. A Pre-Pride brunch will be held running from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. where everyone can eat, drink, and visit before the larger events start a few days later.

Major events for the Minot Pride Festival include a pub crawl, Pride in the Park, a drag show, a trivia night, a shadowcast done by Magic City Misfits, and more. Many popular events from previous years will occur alongside some new hopefuls.

“This year, we sought feedback from our community on events for the Pride Festival through an online survey and then an open meeting. We really tried to add to our low- or no-cost events this year, as well as adding in some 21+ events. We’re working on a balance of providing diverse events for multiple audiences, within our organization’s means,” said Gamas.

Besides the LGBTQA+ Trivia and the pub crawl, all events are open to all ages. Some events, such as the upcoming Magic City Misfits shadowcast performance of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and the drag show with a “That 80’s Show” theme, do have a parental advisory as not everything will be appropriate for some ages and those under 18 will need to have a parent or guardian attend with them.

The week of events will kick off with a Pre-Pride Brunch at Souris River Brewing starting at 11 a.m. on July 8. Then on July 10 and 12, Pride celebrators who are 21+ will take over the Downtown area with the trivia night starting at The Tap Room on the 10th and the “Taste The Rainbow” Pub Crawl on the 13th.

Both events will start at 7 p.m. on their respective days and are are free to attend, though for the pub crawl, a special VIP bracelets will be available for $10 and will give purchasers discounts at each bar. Attendees will also be able to win prizes if they complete their punch cards as they traverse the Little Chicago Pub District trail.

“Little Chicago Pub District is very supportive of Pride Minot,” explained Gamas, “allowing us to have a collaborative event like the Taste the Rainbow pub crawl and our new LGBTQA+ Trivia Night.”

The Magic City Misfits will do “A Rocky Horror Picture Show” on July 13 at the Sleep Inn Convention Room with doors opening at 7 p.m. and the performance taking stage at 8 p.m. Tickets will cost $15.

A Rainbow Walk/Run 5K, Pride in the Park, and a drag show with a “That 80s Show” theme will be featured at the Minot Pride Festival for July 14. For the final official day of their Pride week, the day is chuck full of stuff.

The Rainbow Walk/Run and Pride in the Park will both take place at Oak Park with registration for the 5K starting at 8:30 a.m. The race will begin an hour later. Pride in the Park will start at 9 a.m. and offer live entertainment, food trucks, vendors, and a beer garden from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. sponsored by The Tap Room for all.

After the fun in the park, those enjoying the Pride festivities will have a few hours to relax before Jellybean Entertainment will begin its “That 80’s Show” drag show. Featuring local and regional performers, the show will begin at 8 p.m. in the Clarion Hotel in the Coliseum Room. Tickets will cost $15 and can be purchased online until midnight of July 13, at Pride in the Park, or at the door. On the day of or at the door, purchases must be cash.

To wind things down and end the festivities of 2018’s Minot Pride Festival, a Post-Pride Brunch will be happening at 10:30 a.m. at Broadway Bean and Bagel on July 15. Then afterwards, at 1:30 p.m. at the Dakota Bark Park, an afternoon of fellowship, fun, and fresh air where you can bring your four-legged friend with will happen at the Puppy Pride event.

“Through a partnership with Souris Valley Humane Society, with the permission of Minot Parks District, we added Puppy Pride to our lineup of events, in lieu of a formal service project,” Gamas said.

This means that while admission is free to Puppy Pride, a donation to the Souris Valley Animal Shelter is highly encouraged, whether it be monetarily or items from their wish list. An all ages event with a canine theme, it will be a pleasant end to the Minot Pride Festival week.

“We are grateful to those, in and out of our Pride community, who have stood with us, as we build pride in our Minot community. We have found that our events during Minot Pride Festival have gained popularity as awareness has increased – and are starting to establish a strong volunteer base,” Gamas said.

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