For Immediate Release
April 27, 2020
Media Contact: Jon Pushkin, firstname.lastname@example.org; 303-725-5031
-Annual parade and festival will move online to prevent spread of coronavirus-
DENVER, CO— Rex Fuller, CEO of The Center on Colfax, announced that this year’s PrideFest will be a virtual celebration due to limits on large public gatherings in the city of Denver. The shift towards online festivities will help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, while still providing a safe way to celebrate the culture and heritage of the LGBTQ community.
“We exhausted every option before making this decision, including postponing the event to later in the summer, which just wasn’t possible,” explained Fuller. “Although we will miss the energy of an in-person gathering, protecting the safety and health of the attendees, staff and volunteers who make PrideFest so special is paramount. Instead of just cancelling Pride, which means so much to so many, we are working hard to create a variety of opportunities for our community to connect and celebrate virtually.”
Now in its 45th year, Denver PrideFest festival typically draws more than 450,000 to Civic Center Park over two days, making it the largest Pride event in the Rocky Mountain Region. The celebration features exhibitors from across the country, culinary vendors, a political rally, parade, family activities, a 5K race, and three stages of entertainment.
The event is also the largest fundraiser for The Center on Colfax, providing over $1 million in support that helps the organization serve more than 57,000 people annually with programs for LGBTQ+ youth, seniors, Colorado’s transgender community, and training and legal programs. Denver PrideFest also generates an estimated $25 million each year in economic impact for the city of Denver.
“While we may not be able to host our traditional PrideFest events, I am urging the community to do what they can to support The Center and all the other organizations that benefit from The Center’s services. It’s crucial to do what we can to ensure that nonprofits can survive this time as well,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.
Organizers will be reaching out to PrideFest sponsors and those who have already applied for exhibitor space and parade participation about their options, including refunds or applying their support to the organization’s virtual celebration, which will take place June 20-21, 2020. Potential virtual activities include:
- Virtual parade: The Center will ask community businesses and organizations to enter fun-filled videos that will be livestreamed as a “parade” with live commentary.
- Virtual 5K: People will enter the 5K, run their race and submit their time independently. The Center will reward their efforts with a t-shirt and other prizes.
- Virtual entertainment: The Center is working to gather online entertainment from performers who were previously scheduled to perform live.
- Virtual dance party: DJs from various clubs around town will present a dance party via Twitch.
- Virtual Exhibitor Page: An online marketplace will allow the public to virtually browse a collection of exhibitors who will sell merchandise online.
- Pride Decorating Contest: The Center will encourage the public to decorate their houses or apartment balconies for pride and share their photos online.
- Pride Job Fair: Job seekers will be able to visit an online job board that will post jobs from LGBT-friendly employers.
The Center hopes to raise $100,000 through its virtual celebration, about 10 percent of the annual revenue the event generates. Details about other events, such as a rally, will be coming soon. Additional details will also be communicated through DenverPride.org as well as through social media channels.
Although The Center has been closed since mid-March, the organization continues to provide support to the community online and by phone. The organization launched a COVID-19 Response Group on Facebook in March where people can maintain connections and share information.
For more information about The Center’s resources visit lgbtqcolorado.org.
About The Center on Colfax
The Center on Colfax opened in 1976 and over the years has grown to become the largest LGBTQ community center in the Rocky Mountain region, giving voice to Colorado’s LGBTQ community and playing a pivotal role in statewide initiatives to reduce harassment and discrimination. Today the Center is focused on fulfilling its mission – to engage, empower, enrich and advance the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community of Colorado – by ensuring that every member of the LGBTQ community has access to the programs and resources they need to live happy, healthy, and productive lives. The Center currently operates on an annual budget of $2.3 million, employs 20 staff members and utilizes more than 500 community volunteers to serve more than 52,000 people each year. www.lgbtqcolorado.org