Payne County Pride hosts family-friendly Pride festival in the park

Payne County Pride had its most recent get-together in June. The Pride Festival has been postponed to April 2022. 

The Payne County Pride Association has announced its plans to host a pride festival in Stillwater on October 9. The theme for the festival, Pride Uncaged, is reflective of the pandemic’s confining effect on everyone as pride festivals were canceled across the globe last year.

“We are so excited to gather again this year after not having an opportunity to celebrate pride together for too long,” Executive Director Mik Taylor said. “Hopefully, it will only make it that much better when we get to welcome our community back in October.”

Payne County Pride hosted its inaugural festival and parade in 2019, which was attended by hundreds of supportive community members and visitors from across the state. Sara Cunningham, founder of Free Mom Hugs and author of “How We Sleep at Night,” served as the parade marshall and offered free hugs to festival attendees. 

This year’s event will likely see changes as people adjust to ever-evolving levels of comfort, but its mission remains the same: To welcome members and allies of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community to celebrate rural pride. More details on location and event features will come closer to event time with the most updated information published on Facebook and Instagram (@paynecountypride). 

“It was really clear to us after we recently hosted Pride in the Park that people are ready to (safely) come together again and have missed being able to celebrate everyone’s individuality,” Vice President Cassie Herndon said. “We invite all our supportive friends, family, and neighbors to join us for Pride Uncaged!”

The 2021 festival and parade will take into account current COVID-19 numbers and advisories. At this time, it is expected that masks and social distancing practices will be respected but not required. To help plan and execute the parade and/or festival, email paynecountypride@gmail.com to receive more information. 

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