Each year, the month of June recognizes LGBTQ pride with gatherings and parades held in various cities across the country.
On Saturday, Priddaho hosted its first celebration in Pocatello at OK Ward Park.
Priddaho President and CEO Travis Kerbs said that even though Saturday’s event was their first, they have big plans.
“Our goal is to get Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, Pocatello and Rexburg,” he said.
Kerbs said the community support for the event has been overwhelming, but there has been some backlash.
“There was a little bit of pushback from a few people, but that’s to be expected, and I think the biggest part about that is just education. You just really gotta educate people,” he said.
The celebration, which aims to bring everyone together as a community, featured everything from food trucks and bounce houses to drag queens.
“How could you not have a pride celebration without them,” Kerbs joked.
Cali Je and Zae Naugahyde host Reading time with the Queens at the Marshall Public Library. During their events, the duo sings, reads picture books and teaches kids American Sign Language.
“Mostly, we’re just teaching kids how to be themselves and to respect others,” Je said.
With performances and sales tents, there were many things to see and do on Saturday, but among the most important things available at the celebration was free HIV and Hepatitis C testing offered by Health West.
“We feel like this is a perfect opportunity to catch folks who maybe don’t always come into the clinic,” physicians assistant Heather Schaper said.
And many took advantage of the opportunity.
“We’ve had steady folks in and out of our tents getting tested, so we’re really happy,” Schaper said.
The event brought people from all over the Gem State into the Gate City in support of those in the community.
“We’re not here to hate anybody,” Kerbs said, “we just love everybody and we just want you guys to all come together as a community.”