Cheers for PFLAG at Golden Days Parade & almost 100 attend Fairbanks Pride Picnic

Reports and thank you's are coming in from the Fairbanks Pride Picnic and the LGBT marching group in the Golden Days Parade.

PFLAG marched in the Golden Days Parade with the huge rainbow flag that made a big splash at Anchorage PrideFest this year, and it drew a good response from the crowd in Fairbanks as well.

The Pride Picnic after the parade was also successful, with almost 100 people stopping by to enjoy the food, music, performers, information tables and a vendor booth selling rainbow items.

Jenn, organizer of the Pride Picnic, and Pete from PFLAG have the story. First Jenn thanks everyone and shares a behind the scenes view of the Pride Picnic:
I would like to give my gratitude to the many members of the community who stepped up to make an amazing Fairbanks Pride Picnic!! I tend to be long winded so if you get bored just skip down to your name and smile. Don't see your name?? That means you should expect to be recruited to help in next years picnic!!!

First I would like to thank PFLAG and the ICOAA, for without their sponsorship you would have been listening to a little boombox and wishing there was food. No seriously, without their financial support and community connections this event could not have been the success it was. Thank you!

I would also like to thank College Floral for donating gift certificates to our performance winners. Donations are the bread and butter of non-profits, grassroots, and small community organizations. Every little bit counts and yours was greatly appreciated.

The Center for Non-Violent Living, IAA, and IWILL all provided positive community education information. Thank you for taking the time to provide these for us. I hope that we can continue to work together in the effort to educate the masses.

A big round of applause to Cheri and Jene, who provided the vendor booth this year. It added a festive aura to the event and gave everyone an opportunity to show their pride on a regular basis. Why get all your pride paraphernalia on the internet when you can support your local businesses and community members by buying local. Look out for these two… they will be spreading rainbows again in the near future.

Were you dancing at the picnic… shaking it on a picnic table perhaps? Maybe you were tapping your foot or simply listening to announcements? We have Bernie to thank for that. Bernie responded to my pleas and rushed in to save the day with sound and music. Thank you so much Bernie… you rock!!

Many thanks to Pete and Miss Maxine for shuttling people from the end of the parade to the picnic. Thank you to our Emcee Donald who saved me from having to talk in front of all of those people. And put your hands together for our performers Micheal and our current Grand Duchess Kara!!! They took the spotlight from all of you who didn't manage to get out of bed!!!

As many of you know I am still recovering from shoulder surgery and this makes me unable to lift, tote, or move anything. After listening to me make plans for 2 weeks and "puking rainbows" (as she called it) everyday, when the time came my Poppie was there to DO everything. All the hauling, moving, shopping, cleaning, packing… that was all her. Thank you my love, I could not have gotten through it without you.

I have one last thank you. To all of you that stopped by, dropped in, hung out, or otherwise attended the picnic, thank YOU. None of this would have been worth it without the guests. It is YOU that made the fun. YOU provided the conversation, YOU provided the dancing, YOU provided the games! And just so everyone knows, there were almost 100 of YOU throughout the day. Thank YOU!!

Oh, and don't forget! There will be voting at College Floral on August 21st for Emperor and Empress of All Alaska. Get out there and cast your vote! Don't know who to vote for? Find out! Ask your candidates questions, engage them in conversation; find out what they plan to do if they become the new Emperor or Empress. Informed decisions are our own responsibility.

Also… PFLAG is still looking for volunteers to sit at their booth at the Tanana Valley State Fair. Please contact Kerry at 45-PFLAG to sign up. Help spread the positive through our community with information!
Pete describes the LGBT parade group and the reaction of the crowd, and has the scoop on PFLAG's booth at the Tanana Valley Fair:
On behalf of the members and supporters of PFLAG, I would like to give a big, heartfelt thanks to Shayle for pulling together the colorful contingent of participants that carried the borrowed flag from Anchorage (thanks, Anchorage), the signs, and the new PFLAG Fairbanks banner in yesterday's Golden Days Parade. Most of Fairbanks was there. What a difference a few years of visibility in community make. The crowd was receptive, with pockets of cheers and salutes along the route.

Also a big thanks to Jenn for organizing the picnic. Thanks to the Imperial Court of All Alaska in helping underwrite the expenses. It was a good turnout of all ages and talent in the community. It was great to reconnect with friends who hadn't seen each other in a while.

The next big event will be the Tanana Valley State Fair. Kerry is still signing up volunteers and will have free passes for those willing to spend two hours at the PFLAG booth in the Borealus Pavilion anytime between noon and 10pm. (Leave a message at 45-PFLAG.)

Dates for the fair: August 6th through the 14th. If you are coming to Fairbanks during that time, stop by and say hi and see how Beverly has adapted the booth to fit the theme of "Barn in the USA." We aim to be contenders for the decoration prize. Thank you to Alaskans Together for supporting the costs of the fair booth.

If you know allies who support our community and would like to become members of PFLAG or provide funds for community events in conjunction with the Court and individuals creating gay-friendly space in Fairbanks, point them to Fairbanks PFLAG at or join our Facebook page.
Thanks to Jenn and Pete for providing this news from the Fairbanks LGBT community, and kudos for organizing a great picnic and parade group!


AKPetMom said...

Sounds like a good time was had by all! Many years ago my boss had many wonderful gay friends that lived in FBX and I soon came to realize that FBX was more tolerant than Anchorage was at the time....

Now here is a funny story I have to share. My partner overheard me talking on the phone on Thursday night and I made mention of the Palmer Pride Picnic that was happening on Friday...he interrupted and said wow, he had no idea that Palmer was so progressive! I then had to tell him that Palmer Pride picnic was put on by the city to celebrate the colonists and the formation of the town of Palmer (and yes, some of the people that put the picnic on are progressive and tolerant but the majority are repressed republicans....just sayin')

But, what I thought was interesting is the moment he hear "pride" he immediately thought it was a LGBT thing!

Not that that can't happen in Palmer, but it's a little red down there...good to remember there are many places here that aren't!

E. Ross said...

Hi AKPetMom - There are plenty of LGBT people quietly living around Palmer, and even in Wasilla ::gasp:: but most of them would rather come to the big city of Anchorage for LGBT events. Thanks for the story.

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