Anchorage Pridefest draws thousands on its 42nd year
A big party in the park and parade celebration wrapped up Anchorage pride week Saturday.
For the 42nd year, Anchorage Pridefest, hosted by Identity Alaska, kicked off in Anchorage. The celebration wrapped up a week full of special events providing Alaskans with the means to celebrate the state's diversity while giving expression to the local LGBTQ community.
More than 8,000 people enjoyed live entertainment, beer gardens, and vendors. Co-chair of Anchorage Pride Fest, JJ Harrier says, in just the past ten years, Anchorage Pridefest has grown from 25 vendors and a small parade -- to 200 vendors, and 55 groups participating in the parade.
"Our first march for gay rights was in 1977. It was a different time back then," said Harrier. "People wore bags over their heads because they didn't want to get fired from their jobs. We've come a long way since then, since Stonewall, which we're also celebrating. This is the week where we get together and say, 'you know what, we're a community and we all should respect each other, and equality works.'"