PRIDE Corvallis is back this summer, after a two-year hiatus. The Queervallis Family Reunion will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Avery Park on Saturday, Aug. 27. Rather than the standard Pride Parade present at most celebrations around the world, Corvallis’ event is all about bringing the community together, picnic-style.
The celebration is put on in part by Rainbow in the Clouds, a monthly dance party held at Cloud & Kelly’s for the LGBTQ+ community. Hillary Fishler, one of the lead coordinators, said, “We are trying to encourage people to build an active LGBTQ+ presence in Corvallis that is not confined to university students and affiliates. We want to create more cohesion.”
Activities at the gathering will include yoga, a community kickball game, flower crown making, mural painting, drag queen meet and greets, lawn games, multicultural and children’s activities, informational booths, and local LGBTQ+ vendors. Live music for dancing will also be provided with DJ Doc Holiday.
PRIDE Corvallis encourages you to bring your own dish to share, some blankets, chairs, and a friendly spirit. The gathering is alcohol- and substance-free, but the Avery Park Townsend Shelter is ADA-accessible as well as dog-friendly.
“It will be a very relaxed vibe, with the expectation that people use PRIDE to connect with one another, do some activities, spend a day in the park, and represent and support their queer community in Corvallis,” Fishler said.
Since PRIDE Corvallis didn’t receive enough support and planning in 2015, Fishler and local LGTBQ+ youth organization Out N About have put a lot of care into making sure that this family reunion is all inclusive and will help build a stronger community. With the various LGBTQ+ organizations and support groups in and around Corvallis, it’s tough to gather them all together on a regular basis.
“We are mostly interested in forging partnerships and making events in the Queervallis community more communal,” Fishler said. The PRIDE celebration for next year is already in the works. If the Queervallis Family Reunion goes well, it will pave the way for an even larger celebration in 2017.