The 2014 QC PridefestThe festival, will be held June 7th & 8th, will be a street fair, a shopping mecca, a non-stop cavalcade of regional entertainment, a carnival, an interactive arts & sports jubilee, a smorgasbord of summer treats, and an open air picnic with a few thousand close friends, all capped off with a night of fireworks and a “new-fashioned” revival!
The Highlights: Live Out Loud, 2013 QC PrideFest
- FESTIVAL RECAP:
Living Out Loud, the theme of the 6th Annual QC Pridefest, was certainly put into action on June 1st and 2nd in downtown Davenport, Iowa. The rainbow theme was definitely evident in the outfits of our guests, the flags waving proudly overhead, and banners welcoming 6500 people to celebrate diversity. The recording breaking crowd was treated to twenty hours of non-stop entertainment on our main stage and this year's second club tent stage. Acts included performances by well-known solo artists, bands, and dancers as the excitement built toward the massive Saturday evening crowd who were treated to the finest in female impersonation followed by a grand finale that included a spectacular fireworks display.
The festivities continued on Sunday with the addition of an Interfaith Celebration where the Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Native American and Unitarian traditions collaborated to offer spiritual readings, music and interpretative dance. Following the service, Davenport's Mayor Bill Gluba spoke with pride of Iowa's long tradition of promoting equality and justice for all, a sentiment echoed by US Congressman Dave Loebsack as he mentioned the significance of the US Supreme Court ruling of DOMA, which was met with a standing ovation by the crowd. Illinois State Representative Mike Smiddy expressed disappointment in the failure of the Illinois Assembly to pass the Marriage Equality bill but vowed to personally insure that the bill would receive top priority during the next session. Simultaneously, festival goes were treated to the Zaney Zone at the other end of the festival where dueling burlesque troops won over the crowd with their visual antics, colorful costumes, elaborately painted bodies and risqué routines. The Zaney Zone also featured psychic readings, high heels races, live body art hooping performances, carnival-style games, a vodka oasis, purveyors of adult novelties and a dunk tank to cool off heated attendees. The Zaney Zone, not content to stay in their own area, shared the revelry with the entire festival as members of the burlesque troops and joiners-in wound their way throughout the crowds in a number of spontaneous and exuberant conga lines.
Also available to festival goers were 120 vendors offering a variety of cuisine, information booths, crafts, and pride-themed merchandise. Several vendors engaged the guests by offering contests of skill and games, with a number of them raising money for area charitable organizations. The children's area included crafts, story time, jump houses and a mobile playground provided by Davenport Parks and Recreation. Always a big draw, the Art in Action area featured artisans performing their craft while enlightening patrons to the importance of buying local items that will provide a positive impact on our economy. Shoppers could rest or visit with family and friends in our festival beer garden before moving on to the next adventure.
While relaxing in the beer garden and main stage area on Sunday afternoon, guests were introduced to Ms. Brandi Jo Collins, the 2013 QC Pride College Scholarship recipient. For the second year in a row, the scholarship was awarded to an outstanding student leader from St. Ambrose University. Ms. Collins’ outstanding record of academic achievement and her dedication to St. Ambrose’s LGBT group, Students Organized to Unite People, were cited as key factors in the selection process.
True to their mission, QC Pride renewed its commitment to Quad City Area nonprofit organizations during the 2013 “Living Out Loud” QC PrideFest. Just as they did during the 2011 and 2012 festivals, Pridefest guests had the opportunity to donate one dollar of every $5.00 festival entrance fee to one of the participating nonprofit organizations in attendance. Canisters representing each organization were available at the gates and guests were given one ticket for each admission which they could deposit into the canister of their choice. A combined total of $3744 was donated to this year’s eleven participating non-profit organizations.
QC Pride board members are already gearing up for next year’s celebration which will be held during the first full weekend of June 2014. Monthly meetings will begin in September and will be listed on the calendar website at www.qcpride.org. Volunteering with QC Pride is an incredibly rewarding experience so plan on attending a future meeting where you will have the opportunity to share your talents and make new friends. Follow QC Pride throughout the year as they plan annual events such as trivia night, a scavenger hunt, the annual semi-formal event held during the month of March, participation in various parades and informative workshops. Vendor, scholarship and sponsorship applications will be updated and available on the website by August 15th. Join QC Pride as they continue to “Live Out Loud”!