ORANGE CITY—Pride Orange City put on an all-virtual event last year due to the coronavirus pandemic but is giving more Friday-Sunday, Oct. 15-17, for its fifth annual festival.
Those three days will be jam-packed with events and activities that will celebrate members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.
The theme for this year’s Pride is “Gimme More,” which Mike Goll said relates to how the event lets members of the LGTBQ community celebrate their identities and victories while still noting challenges the community faces.
“It gives room for queer people to say ‘gimme more,’” said Goll, who is one of the founding members of Pride Orange City.
Kicking off the weekend will be the storytelling event at 7 p.m. Friday at the Prairie Winds Event Center. It is a time in which people have an opportunity to talk freely about their experiences and hardships as part of the LGBTQ community.
Those wanting to submit a story can e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If anyone does not feel comfortable sharing it in front of a crowd, surrogate speakers will be available to read on that individual’s behalf.
One change from past Pride storytelling events will be a panel discussion that will close out the session.
“That’ll be kind of a different take, but I think it’s going to be really welcomed because it’s going to speak to our community and different intersections in it,” Goll said.
Karaoke will follow beginning at 9 p.m. Nonalcoholic beverages and snacks will be provided for festivalgoers all evening.
Saturday’s events will likewise take place at Prairie Winds. The event lineup consists of yoga in the morning, followed by an information and resource fair in the late morning and afternoon. Back-to-back shows featuring drag entertainers will close out the night.
“We’ve got a great crew,” Goll said of the evening shows. “That will be exciting. A lot of talent, so we’re looking forward to that.”
Sunday brunch at Town Square Coffee House + Kitchen in Orange City will conclude the weekend’s Pride festivities. Two brunch times will be held, with the first at 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and the second set for 12:45-3 p.m. El Queretano Mexican restaurant of Sibley will cater the meal.
Brunch costs $10 for ages 5-12 and $20 for those 13 and older. The price for kids 5 and younger corresponds to their ages.
Planning this year’s Pride festival was trickier than usual due to the ongoing pandemic, although Goll said a benefit of holding most of the events at Prairie Winds is that the large space lets people spread out.
He said it is hard to anticipate how many people will attend Pride but that the organization will try to keep everyone as safe as possible.
“The group felt sort of a call to keep going, even if it was a small turnout,” Goll said. “That’s the way we started. We always say, ‘If this ends up becoming a small, family reunion-type event every year, that’s OK, as long as we’re serving our queer community.’”
Although the annual Pride event takes place in the Sioux County seat community, it draws people from through N’West Iowa as well as surrounding places in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Goll described Pride as a family event where the intent is to welcome people of all ages and let them celebrate who they are. It also is a chance to increase the visibility of LGBTQ people in the area while still giving them a safe place to gather.
“People think queer folk don’t exist in this area, but the story we hear time and time again is that they do and may not feel safe to stay,” Goll said. “There’s no place like home, and we can hopefully feel safe in our homes, in our communities.”