The Mile High City was dressed up in rainbow flags and good will as The Center on Colfax produced the Rocky Mountain region’s largest annual celebration of LGBTQ+ pride. Our 2022 celebration was special as Denver Pride returned to a full-fledged, two-day festival and parade after COVID-19 prevented a fully in-person Pride.

Festivities began Thursday, June 23 with the return of West of 50’s (formerly SAGE of the Rockies) Tea Dance, an event for older adults that included food, drink, community, and performances by August Celestial, Ty Woo, Ximena Latinx.

The weekend saw record-shattering attendance. 2400 runners kicked off the weekend at the PRIDE 5K presented by Smartwool on Saturday, June 24. Over 100,000 onlookers cheered on 12,000 marchers from 270 entries at the Coors Light Denver Pride Parade on Sunday, June 25. And an estimated 535,000 people attended the festival at Denver’s Civic Center Park over the course of the weekend.

Saturday began bright and early on the steps of the State Capitol with the PRIDE 5K presented by Smartwool. The event, emceed by Denver9’s Rob Harris, raised nearly $150,000 for the Center on Colfax. Denver PrideFest was headlined by Betty Who (presented by Nissan), Cazwell, Kylie Sonique Love, Yvie Oddly, and Silky Nutmeg Gunache, with performances by a myriad of local performers on four stages. Sunday morning saw the return of the Coors Light Denver Pride Parade down Colfax Avenue. The event was emceed by Debbie Scheer and Jon Jon Lennon with special guest Governor Jared Polis. Grand marshalls inculded One Colorado, Dragutante, Black Pride Colorado, and Womxn’s March Denver.

As the weekend closed, The Center on Colfax staff already began their planning efforts for 2023, which would yet again bring hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ+ community members and their supporters to Denver and continue to be one of the summer’s biggest economic drivers.