YAKIMA — The Yakima Pride Festival and Parade, canceled last month because of wildfire smoke, will take place Sept. 18.
Organizers expect thousands to attend, topping the 1,200 who showed up for the 2019 Pride events. The festival was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID pandemic.
“Our reach has really expanded,” said Joshua Hastings, vice president of the nonprofit Yakima Pride organization.
Yakima LGBTQ Pride events date to at least the mid-1990s, when Ken Lewis and his group, First Fridays, first hosted Pride in the Park at Fulbright Park in Union Gap, an annual event through 2014. More visible, downtown events began in 2015. But even those were relatively small. The largest Pride event Yakima has seen was the 2019 edition, the first hosted by the then-brand-new Yakima Pride organization.
Things will kick off at 10 a.m. with a parade through downtown Yakima. The rest of the event will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Naches Avenue between Yakima Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
There will be live music, drag performances, speakers and nearly 30 vendors and information tables. For information visit yakimapride.org.