Organizers of the inaugural Four Corners Pride Festival are hoping for a spirit of inclusion Saturday in Rotary Park.
The festival is intended to raise awareness and increase the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals and groups in the region, but not in spite of the greater population.
It's an otherwise regular downtown Durango party with food, live music and activities for the kids and everyone's welcome.
"We just want to show the Four Corners region that gays and lesbians live here: They're your neighbors, doctors, teachers - and to bring the greater community together in celebration of the greater diversity in the area," said Greg Weiss, the board chairman of the Four Corners Gay and Lesbian Alliance for Diversity, or 4cGLAD.
Weiss said local groups have been holding a smaller-scale barbecue every summer, but the idea for the Pride Festival came about this winter after a group of Durango High School and Fort Lewis College students attended a Queer Youth Summit in Denver. They asked 4cGLAD for help in organizing a larger event, and that led to the creation of The Alliance for Diversity.
The Alliance is a collaboration of nonprofit organizations including 4cGLAD, Sexual Assault Services Organization (SASO), the Four Corners Lesbian Network, San Juan College OUT, Fort Lewis College PRISM and the Durango chapter of Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).
And there's a lot of activity to pack into just four hours. The entertainment includes performances by Nina Sasaki, Kentucky Deluxe, the Discotays and Durango Orquesta de Salsa.
And on a less frivolous note there is a full lineup of speakers: Mayor Michael Rendon, who is also the executive director of SASO; Colorado state Sen. Pat Steadman from Denver; Cathy Martinez, director of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City; FLC's new student body president Alray Nelson; Zack Stash, president of San Juan College's student group OUT; Andrea Rossi of SASO; Sage Grey, president of FLC's PRISM; Martha Elbert, president of Durango's PFLAG chapter; Sage Remington of the Colorado Two Spirit Society; and Weiss.
Weiss said the speakers will represent both the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community and their straight allies to voice the importance of joining together to establish a truly diverse and inclusive community.
Refreshments and food will be supplied by Carver Brewing Co., Pagosa Baking Co., the Ice Cream Man and other area establishments. The children's area will have face painting, a bounce house and more.