To adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ark Valley Pride 2020 is going virtual.
In lieu of a parade, event organizers are developing a Pride Drive.
Organizers Mark Monroe and Jimmy Sellars are directors and visual developers for Partnership for Community Action as well as Ark Valley Equality Network. Shelley Schreiner is one of the coordinators.
“I think it’s going to turn out really exciting,” Sellars said.
The kickoff presentation will take place at 7 p.m. June 5 with an interactive movie experience. Several movie choices will be available on arkvalleypride.com. While they are not entirely free, they can all be viewed on a variety of common streaming platforms.
The original movie selection for this year’s iteration was “Pride.” Other available movie choices include “Moonlight,” “The Perfection,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Alex Strangelove,” “Elisa & Marcella,” “Tig,” “A Single Man,” “Paris Is Burning,” “The Cakemaker,” “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” “God’s Own Country” and “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.”
In coordination with the movies, there will be an interactive Zoom webinar page from 7 to 9 p.m. when organizers will ask audience members a variety of questions related to current, mainstream and recognizable aspects of LGBTQ culture, Cash prizes will be awarded to those who answer correctly. Amounts will begin at $20 and go up from there depending on donations and budget.
Beginning at 10:30 a.m. June 6, the Saturday morning Pride Drive will take place. Participants will be able to dress up, decorate their cars and drive them in a circle around the valley.
Participants will be asked to register online, free of charge, beforehand to make mass communication easier if any sudden changes were to occur. Everyone will receive a map in advance.
KHEN Community Radio, 106.9 FM, will broadcast disco and “fun driving music” during the drive. The radio will also feature speeches from regional politicians and other widely known individuals, although organizers are still working out details. Speakers will be listed online next week.
Sellars and Monroe said typically 350 to 550 people participate in the parade, and they expect a similar turnout this year despite COVID-19.
Later in the day at 3 p.m., attendees can tune in to the 2020 Ark Valley Equality Network Pride Awards, which will be shown on Zoom. Award winners will include:
• Beck Ceron as grand marshal.
• The Rev. Rebecca Poos for the Elevation Award
• Ken Brandon for the Cornerstone Award.
• Dr. Dan Lombardo and First Street Family Health as Ally of the Year.
The ceremony may include some youth awards as well.
The family-friendly virtual disco will take place from 7 to 7:45 p.m. with a DJ. From 8 to 10 p.m., the disco will feature a “high profile” DJ, although organizers are still working out the legalities. They will also hold a competition in which prizes will be given away.
Drag Brunch will take place online from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 7. Organizers are asking people of all ages and gender expressions to submit a prerecorded drag performance to a song that is five minutes or less, using a phone or tablet. The deadline is June 1.
Submissions should be sent to email@example.com and should include the individual’s name, phone number and email. “Drag Brunch Video” should be put in the subject line.
Viewers can vote on entries during the brunch and winners will be posted on the website. The winning performance will receive $250.
Donations can be made to Ark Valley Pride 2020 on donorbox.org/ark-valley-pride-2020.