Sharing a press release from our friends at Hastings Pride:
HASTINGS, NE — On June 11 from 2-6 pm, hundreds of people will walk under a giant rainbow arch to gather in Highland Park, behind the Hastings Museum, for Hastings PRIDE 2022, a festival and march celebrating the LGBTQ+ community in Nebraska. Now in its third formal year, Hastings PRIDE is growing at a breakneck pace, with the number of attendees and exhibitors increasing year over year. Organizers are expecting at least 500 guests this year.
“We received a generous marketing grant from Nebraska Tourism that has enabled us to significantly expand our Facebook presence this year,” said Randal Kottwitz, PRIDE Director. “We’ve had tens of thousands of views of our video and a lot of traffic on our event page, so it’s hard for me to predict how many will actually attend. We’ll be prepared for how ever many show up.”
The theme of this year’s festival is “One Together” signifying the need for the LGBTQ+ community to work together, as one, to achieve equality, acceptance and mental health for everyone in the LGBTQ+ population. The first 300 attendees to register will receive a free commemorative tie-dye T-shirt bearing the theme and the event’s sponsor logos.
Like most PRIDE celebrations, Hastings PRIDE stands on three “pillars”: Visibility; Education & Advocacy; and Entertainment.
As the main event of the afternoon, hundreds of LGBTQ+ people and their allies will march down Burlington Avenue to 7th Street, a primary intersection, where they will spread out to the four corners for a few minutes, waving at the passing traffic, then march back to the park — a 1.8 mile route. As always, the march will be led by the “Parade of Flags”, a procession of 13 flags identifying segments of the LGBTQ+ community in a phalanx of color.
EDUCATION & ADVOCACY
Once the marchers return to the festival in the park, they will be greeted by over 40 exhibitors/vendors, including many non-profit agencies who provide services to the community, and a program of speakers and performers. Suicide prevention and LGBTQ+ mental health are a special emphasis of this year’s program with a speaker from the American Society for Suicide Prevention. State Senator Megan Hunt will also speak.
Due to the generosity of the festival sponsors, in addition to free admission, Hastings PRIDE is able to provide a plethora of entertainment for festival goers, including a photo booth, professional face painting, inflatable rides, family fun activities, and live music – all free. There will be a small collection of food trucks there, as well, serving a wide variety of cuisines to the hungry crowd.
A SUCCESSFUL EVENT FOR ALL
All in all, Hastings PRIDE 2022 will be an exciting and educational celebration of PRIDE month in Hastings for people of all ages. The dozens of volunteers involved look forward to greeting the hundreds of guests who will come together to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community