Pride Fest Celebrates 40 Years in Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa – Capital City Pride celebrates 40 years of Pride Fest in Des Moines with new events.

Events added to the festival include: a speaker series, a pride 5K, pet parade and silent disco.

Capital City Pride President Justin Devries said four decades ago only six people walked the pride parade in Des Moines and now has grown to over 1,000 participants.

“It’s great, because you have everybody. You have kids, teenagers, adults, grandparents, straight, gay, it doesn’t matter. Everybody is there that weekend just to celebrate, to have a good time and to remember what has happened and how far we have come as a community,” Devries said.

Grinnell College President Dr. Raynard S. Kington is starting the festival Thursday in Des Moines and discussing his experience in the education system.

The pride parade route is from the state capitol to Brenton Skating Plaza on East Grand Ave. Devries said this is the first parade to walk on East Grand since the new bike lanes have been added.

Devries said the group wants the new events to show the weekend is more than just a part.

“Support the people that you love or the people that you know. Whether it is a coworker, family member, a friend, whatever. That’s what this weekend is about. It’s not more about being gay and standing up. It’s being there for people who may not be as comfortable with it as you are, and just being that support person and giving people different faces or contacts to help them through,” Devries said.

To see a full schedule of Pride Fest click here.