Phoenix Pride festival, parade to roll through the Valley this weekend

Apr 6, 2018, 5:05 AM
(Patrick Breen/The Arizona Republic via AP)...
(Patrick Breen/The Arizona Republic via AP)
(Patrick Breen/The Arizona Republic via AP)

PHOENIX — Thousands of people are expected to gather this weekend to celebrate the LGBTQ community and their allies in Arizona at the 37th Annual Phoenix Pride Festival.

Phoenix Pride, an annual festival that celebrates people from all walks of life, will kick off at Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix on Saturday and continue through Sunday.

The theme and slogan for this year’s event will be “United We Stand, Equality for All,” as a sign of strength, unity and the quest for equality for everyone regardless of background.

The two-day festival includes concerts and a parade, which will start on Sunday at 10 a.m. at Third Street and Thomas and end at Steele Indian School Park.

The parade will feature more than 2,000 individual participants with decorated vehicles, colorful floats and thousands of walkers.

Valley native and veteran NBA referee Bill Kennedy was named the grand marshal of the parade.

Kennedy’s refereeing career has been highlighted by a 2009 incident in which he ejected former Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers after he directed anti-gay remarks at Kennedy.

Dozens of performers will be featured on six stages and entertainment areas in the park.

Berlin featuring Terri Nunn, Bebe Rexha and Valley native and “American Idol” finalist David Hernandez were among the headliners on the Bud Light Main Stage at the festival.

Kristine W., who was named Billboard Magazine’s Top Three Dance Artists of the Decade, and Grammy Winner Thelma Houston were also scheduled to headline the event.

Last year’s headliners included Belinda Carlisle, Aaron Carter, Ninel Conde and Brian Justin Crum.

In addition to the music and parade, more than 300 exhibitors will showcase a variety of food options, shopping opportunities and community resources.

Tickets for the festival were available online for $15 for one day, $30 for two days and $70 for a two-day, VIP pass.

Meet and greet opportunities were also available for $75 each for some of the performers.

Tickets increase by $5 at the door.

The Phoenix Pride Festival is the largest LGBTQ event in Arizona.

In 2017, more than 37,000 people visited the festival over the course of the two days.

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Phoenix Pride festival, parade to roll through the Valley this weekend