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Gay Pride Rainbow Flag (Weekender)

Siouxland Pride Alliance invites the community to its Pride Picnic 10 a.m. Saturday (June 9) at the Chris Larsen Park Shelter. 

After last week’s Pride Month festivities, the Siouxland Pride Alliance will be concluding its LGBT celebrations with a community picnic, complete with free activities for all ages.

Previously, the local grassroots LGBT organization held a Pride Prom, a church service and brunch and a viewing of the film “Saturday Church” at the First Unitarian Church. However, the Pride Picnic, which begins 10 a.m. Saturday (June 9) at the Chris Larsen Park Shelter, is a fully stacked event.

The morning kicks off with a Rainbow Walk/Run/Roll around the waterfront trail (organizers stressed that this is not a formal run nor a race, but rather something to just enjoy with friends and loved ones). Afterward, there will be relaxing Tai Chi and yoga sessions leading up to the opening ceremony at noon.

For the next three hours, it’s picnic time. In between bites of food, patrons are encouraged to tour the organization fair featuring a variety of community groups who have set up tables and booths to provide information (and free stuff!).

Of course, this wouldn’t be a proper community picnic without a bit of entertainment. Between 1 and 6 p.m., there will be live music, LGBT trivia, lawn games, a kid’s space and drag-related activities like drag bingo and drag races (not the speeding car kind).

While the picnic is an LGBT event celebrating the history and values of Pride Month, Don Dew and Karen Mackey, co-founders of the Siouxland Pride Alliance, said it is an all-inclusive event, inviting everyone from the community to enjoy and take part in the festivities.

“It’s about community,” said Dew. “Especially the picnic. This is different because it’s inviting basically everybody. We’re doing such a host of events during that picnic and we want people to bring their families and have fun.”

To stress the theme of community even further, Dew said that councilwoman Rhonda Capron is scheduled to read a proclamation about Pride Month and its significance in Sioux City. Mackey said this is the “first time anything like that has happened” in town.

Pride-focused picnics, Mackey added, is nothing new. She said various groups have held LGBT get-togethers; some would dissipate over time. “After a while, when some of those groups fell away, it ended up being ‘whoever was the gay bar’ would do it,” said Mackey. “When there were two gay bars, they would each do their own. A few years ago, we got back into doing picnics. Part of it was people asking, ‘Why aren’t you doing this?’”

Speaking with members of local Gay-Straight Alliances, Mackey said, helped solidify Siouxland Pride Alliance’s decision to expand the picnic by adding more activities and providing more opportunities for entertainment.

After the picnic, the festivities continue on at El Patron, formerly Jones Street Station.  The bar will be hosting its own drag show Saturday night starring Jujubee from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars” as the headlining act. Doors open at 7 p.m.

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Weekender reporter

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