This was my first C-U Pride Fest, and I had a good time. There were a good variety of booths in the large parking lot downtown. There were people selling pride swag, others spreading awareness of issues LGBTQYA people face, and then some businesses like Champaign-Urbana Public Health and local government. There were games for kids and a parade.
The parade was at 5 p.m. There were many local politically active people showing their support of the Pride Parade. There were also a lot of paraders dressed up and entertaining the crowd which was quite large and full of various ages and ethnicities.
And did I mention there was confetti?
And dogs with pride?
After the parade, there was a lull in the evening. We headed to Farren’s for a burger. We noticed a Pride flag in the window and the place was packed. Our burger was delicious.
With a full belly, but a hunger for more pride activities, we went to Bolitini. We had heard there was going to be a drag show. We stopped on our way and spoke with a woman on the street who said there was a drag show starting at 7 p.m. and that the organizers of the Pride Fest had made it a point to keep the day time activities completely family friendly. I thought that was nice.
We found the drag show and it was awesome. There was a crowd of people in Boltini’s alley way and a path in between them made with a red carpet. There was a stage and a spotlight for the dancers. Our host came out into the crowd at about 7 p.m. and introduced the show. She then threw off her overcoat and began performing. What guts!
We stayed for three dancers who had two sets each. They were all very good, made the crowd squeal, and were decked out in make up and costume.
This was the third dancer and she was from Chicago. By this time I had figured out where I wanted to photograph the dancers. Between me figuring out where I needed to be and the correct camera settings and this vivacious dancer coming onto stage, some art was made and I am really happy the way these photos turned out.
See more in the gallery below