LGBTQ Pride in Fayetteville, Arkansas is “naturally woven into the fabric of the city”

Fayetteville’s 2018 Pride parade included the city’s mayor, Lioneld Jordan leading the festivities. Photo by Robin Dorner.

By Robin Dorner
Editor in Chief

Northwest Arkansas (NWA) Pride, held in Fayetteville, is set to have its largest event ever.

“We’re excited about the growth of Northwest Arkansas Pride,” said Joseph Porter, board president of Northwest Arkansas Equality, Inc., the event parent organization. “Our audience doubled from 8,000 in 2017 to 16,000 in 2018, and this year we’re expecting closer to 20,000 attendees.

He said guests would coming in from all over Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas, Kansas, Louisiana and Tennessee.

New for this year is an event on Sunday, June 9, at 11:30 a.m. in the Fayetteville Town Center. “High Heels and History Drag Brunch,” is sure to entertain guests. Join Queen Anthony, the Lady Kakes (Patty Johnson), Cassandra Rae, and Miss Gay Arkansas, Chloe Jacobs for another round of brunch, booze, some of the best of Arkansas’ drag, and a celebration of 50 years of the modern LGBTQ movement.

And, on NWA Pride weekend, you’ll enjoy “Out in the Ozarks,” starring Fortune Feimster & That’s What She Said in the Fayetteville Town Center. This event will be on Friday, June 14, from 8-10 p.m.

As Northwest Arkansas’ 2019 Pride Weekend explodes into Saturday night when you can “Glitterville Glitz up your garb and shine up your sequins at our newest and most fabulous event, Glitterville!”

Staged at Fayetteville’s most legendary establishment, George’s Majestic Lounge, Alyssa Edwards of Netflix’ DocuSeries Dancing Queen, and RuPaul’s Drag Race headlines this party. Entertainment includes internationally known circuit DJ, DJ Joe Ross of Houston, and features DJ ATM, Arin Austin, Iman & the Haus of DeMarco, Taylor Madison Monroe, Miss Gay Oklahoma, Shanel Sterling, and Miss Gay Arkansas, Chloe Jacobs.

“We are most excited about being able to program a higher caliber of LGBTQ focused entertainment our region doesn’t typically have the opportunity to see in Northwest Arkansas, such as Alyssa Edwards and Fortune Feimster,” added Porter.

“We are expanding the parade and festival which will have nearly 70 vendors and a wider variety of activities, including a family area with crafts and drag storytime hosted by the NWA chapter of PFLAG.” 

Porter also said in Fayetteville, the LGBTQ+ Pride events are naturally woven into the fabric of the city.

“Fayetteville is one of the most progressive and welcoming cities in Arkansas and the Mid-South,” he said. “We’re proud to be able to offer an opportunity for anyone to celebrate Pride and live their authentic selves.”

Porter said NWA Pride now takes an entire year to coordinate the events, logistics, business operations. The event is executed by a committee of six who make up the NWA Pride Team, and they have 100+ volunteers. 

As the president of the board of directors of the Northwest Arkansas Pride parent organization, Northwest Arkansas Equality, Inc, Porter’s role is managing the vision and business operations of the organization. 

“Richard Gathright is our director of Northwest Arkansas Pride,” said Porter. “He and his team manage the planning and execution of the events.”

Copyright The Gayly. 6/2/2019 @2:46 p.m. CST.