Thursday, Jul. 09, 2009 - Michelle Dupler, Herald staff writer
Pasco's Memorial Park will be filled with rainbow flags and smiling faces July 18 and 19 for the third annual Mid-Columbia Pride Festival.
The pride festival is a time for the local gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community to come together to celebrate their identities, raise awareness and build community.
"It is a great way of being able to educate people about who we are," said Jason Kildall, Mid-Columbia Pride committee chairman. "We're not scary, we just love differently -- in a way that's different than tradition."
Kildall said the local festival has become more of an overall celebration of diversity that embraces the Latino community and other groups that can feel marginalized for being different than the mainstream.
"It's about embracing your differences and realizing we're all human beings and we're all going to have something that's different about us," he said.
Sunday's festival in the park will feature musical performers including The Shades, arts and crafts vendors, a speaker from Sen. Patty Murray's office, and information about domestic partnerships from the Franklin County Clerk's Office.
This year's festival has special meaning, as it marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City -- the event that gave birth to the modern gay civil rights movement and to annual pride festivals across the nation.
-- 7 p.m.: Community Unitarian Universalist Church, 2819 W. Sylvester Street, Pasco: "Out for good: 40 years after Stonewall" discussion about history of gay civil rights and changes in the last four decades.