DENVER – The grand marshals for year’s virtual Coors Light PrideFest Parade have been announced by the Center on Colfax.
Representatives from the Juneteenth Music Festival, frontline workers and a transgender student activist will serve as grand marshals for the 2021 Coors Light Virtual Denver Pride Parade, the organization said Friday. The parade leaders were chosen based on their cultural, political and humanitarian contributions.
Due to the ongoing public health measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, the parade will once again be going virtual this year, but PrideFest itself will have a mix of both in-person and virtual activities, including an in-person and virtual 5K race.
This year’s PrideFest will take place June 26-27. Broadcast of the parade will air on Denver7 at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday and will stream afterward on the Denver7+ app. You can also watch the parade on DenverPride.org, the Denver Pride Facebook Page and the Center on Colfax YouTube channel.
The Center said it hopes to re-create some of excitement of the physical parade by welcoming back comedians Jon Jon Lannen and Debbie Scheer, who will provide commentary. Denver7 anchor Molly Hendrickson and meteorologist Lisa Hidalgo will serve as hosts of this year’s virtual parade.
“PrideFest offers the opportunity to celebrate our authentic selves and to come together as a community. I’m so excited to be part of this year’s festivities and proud to serve as a representative of Colorado’s transgender community,” said Jude, a transgender student who has lobbied for transgender rights since she was 9 years old.
The Boulder teenager helped pass the aptly-named Jude’s Law, which allows transgender and nonbinary Coloradans of any age to have accurate, reflective identification documents. The law gives transgender and nonbinary Coloradans the ability to update their birth certificate, driver’s license, or Colorado state ID without a doctor’s note, a court order or proof of surgery.
In addition to the highlighting Jude’s activism, this year’s parade will also recognize frontline workers, who risked their lives to provide essential services during the pandemic, organizers said. By including representatives from Juneteenth as grand marshals, parade organizers are also acknowledging the importance of the holiday, which celebrates the day African Americans in Texas learned of their freedom two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. The event has more than a 50-year history in Denver’s Historic Five Points Neighborhood.
“We are thrilled to be a part of the Denver Pride Parade and look forward to many years of collaborating with The Center to help both of our celebrations reach wider and more diverse audiences,” said Juneteenth Music Festival Executive Director Norman Harris.
The annual PrideFest helps raise money for The Center, which supports organizations and programs for LGBTQ+ youth, seniors, the transgender community, legal and training programs.
The event typically brings nearly half a million people to Civic Center Park over the two days – the largest Pride celebration in the Rocky Mountains.