Utah Revisits Pride Traditions with First Road Rally


(Courtesy Stavrialena Gontzou I Unsplash)

By Kate Button, Arts Writer, Copy Editor


On Oct. 11, 2020, the Utah Pride Center plans to host the first annual Utah Pride Road Rally. 

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of pride celebrations that usually take place in June were canceled. Kevin Randall, the director of Public Relations for the Utah Pride Center, said, “We felt a huge loss not being able to put on the Pride Festival and Parade this year, but just like many other organizations dealing with this pandemic, we’re adjusting to this new normal and making the best of it. The Utah Pride Road Rally, also known as PRIDE 2.0, can be just as loud, colorful and fun as other Pride celebrations and we invite everyone to participate.”

PRIDE 2.0 coincides with National Coming Out Day, and this event will serve as a way for people to come together and provide a safe place for the LGBTQ+ community. PRIDE 2.0 will also raise funds for the Utah Pride Center to keep its lifesaving programs operational.

Typically, pride celebrations feature huge crowds packed into Salt Lake’s downtown area. Yet, as the Utah Pride Center wanted to find a way to celebrate while abiding by COVID-19 restrictions, the idea of a road rally came to light. 

This setting for PRIDE 2.0 was inspired by traditional pride celebrations. “Dragging main is an activity that has been passed down through the generations where people get in their cars, drive down Main Street and meet people. We want to bring that back and give you a chance to show your pride while doing it. From youth to elderly, there are LGBTQ+ people at risk and need our support,” said Mona Stevens, Utah Pride Center Board Chair.

With authorization from both Salt Lake City and the Utah Health Department, PRIDE 2.0 is designed to be accessible for all. Individuals will have the option to “drag” Main Street, decorate their cars and drive around the city, but there will also be an online streaming option for people who may not own cars or who can’t travel to the city. The traditional aspect of the road rally will allow participants to stay socially distanced, have fun and bring back a historical form of pride celebrations. 

While the road rally is the main focus of PRIDE 2.0, there will also be a VIP area for non-alcoholic beverages, food, entertainment and judging stations will be set up to assess how well each car is decorated. 

This celebration has been designed with COVID-19 at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Participants will be asked to follow set COVID-19 Safety Requirements which include, but are not limited to, maintaining 6 feet of social distancing with people outside of your household or pod, masks must be worn within 6 feet of other individuals, your current temperature must be at or below 100.3 degrees, you must agree to take your temperature at any entrance gates if asked and you cannot be experiencing any symptoms of sneezing, coughing or a sore throat.

Participants who will be driving a vehicle or riding their bike must register on the Utah Pride Center website, and more details about the live streaming option will be shared on this website as Oct. 113approaches. 

From PRIDE 2.0, “Attendees can expect a fun and fabulous Road Rally with decorated cars, drag queens and entertainment,” Randall said.

The Utah Pride Center’s plan for this new form of celebration reflects just how important it is to come together as a community while being mindful of the changes the pandemic has brought — and it is possible to do both at the same time. 


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