History of the Utah Pride Festival

From its humble beginnings in 1974 as an informal gathering in the park, the Utah Pride Festival has come a long way. It is now a Salt Lake City event that grows bolder and brighter with every year. The Festival empowers the LGBTQ community of Salt Lake, as well as the state of Utah as a whole, to come together, celebrate and educate. The Festival is now attended by more than 35,000 people and continues to grow each year. Festival activities include marches & rallies, interfaith services, a 5K charity run, and of course, the beloved Pride Parade. A broad spectrum of people can be found at all these events, including members of the LGBTQ community, their family members and straight allies who wish to show their support. Past festival themes have included Pride…Without BordersUnited for EqualityLive Love PrideChanging Hearts and Lives, Gotta Be Real, Equality, and Love Equals Love.

Our Grand Marshals have included:

  • 2014: Laurie Wood and Kody Patridge, Moudi Sbeity and Derek Kitchen, and Kate Call and Karen Archer (The three plaintiff couples of Utah’s marriage equality court case)
  • 2013: David Testo, Major League Soccer Player
  • 2012: Dustin Lance Black, Screenwriter
  • 2011: Roseanne Barr, Comedian/TV personality
  • 2010: Sister Dottie Dixon, Local LGBTQ personality
  • 2009: Cleve Jones, Human Rights Activist/Protégé of Harvey Milk
  • 2008: Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City Mayor
  • 2007: John Amaechi, Retired Utah Jazz Player
  • 2006: Boyer Jarvis, PhD., LGBTQ Ally
  • Previous to 2005: Bruce Bastian, Human Rights Philanthropist/Co-Founder, Wordperfect; Alicia Suazo, wife of the late State Senator Pete Suazo; Jackie Biskupski, Former Utah State Representative (currently running for SLC Mayor); Walter Larabee; Jess Hawk Oakens; Dr. Kristen Ries; Leonard Matlovich; and David Kopay

The Utah Pride Festival is a work of love put together every June by the Utah Pride Center. We hope you join us in the coming years for the sunshine and festivities!