If a civic event can be measured by the amount and quality of entertainment it attracts, then Tacoma Pride is about to go over the rainbow.
The week-long collection of events and parties to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender communities (LGBT) reaches its apex on Saturday with three events that feature a music festival’s worth of recording artists.
The day begins on Broadway with the annual Out in the Park pride festival featuring LA-based pop singer Dario. When that ends at 5 p.m., the party moves up St. Helens Avenue to two different street parties.
The first, outside Club Silverstone, features local-girl-makes-good Vicci Martinez. The Tacoma native rose to national prominence on NBC’s “The Voice.” The block party also has New York-based recording artist AB Soto in the lineup. The self-described butch queen’s music is dance/pop/electro rap music and his fashion choices (from gangster to quinceanera dresses) defy categorization. If his live show is anything like his music videos, expect dance, color and pulsating beats.
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A little further up the street is the annual block party put on by The Mix, featuring local-boy-makes-good and electronic dance music producer Eliot Lipp. Another “Voice” alum, Stephanie Anne Johnson, will perform at both Out in the Park and at The Mix party.
Add in films, story telling and other events and you’ll have more than enough activities to wear a hole or two in your ruby slippers. Here’s a rundown of what’s ahead.
Flag Raising and Kick-Off Event
After an awards ceremony, Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland will officiate at the raising of the rainbow flag above City Hall.
4:30 p.m.; Pantages Theater Lobby; 901 Broadway, Tacoma; free
Stories Crossing the Threshold: LGBTQ Stories of Spirit
Set in a cabaret atmosphere, LGBT storytellers will share experiences of faith, religion and spirituality. Audience members will be able to share their stories as well. The event is hosted by Drunken Telegraph and the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.
7:30 p.m.; Immanuel Presbyterian Church; 901 S. J St., Tacoma; $10
Out in the Park pride celebration
The Rainbow Center's annual LGBT and allies pride celebration features vendor and information booths and food purveyors. Two entertainment stages will host more than 20 performers, including Kim Archer, Stephanie Anne Johnson of “The Voice,” Jack Mozie and Rockwell Powers.
Noon-5 p.m.; Broadway between Ninth and 11th streets, Tacoma; free
The Mix’s Annual Pride Block Party
5 p.m.–4 a.m., St. Helens between Sixth and Seventh streets, Tacoma; $10; 21 and older only
Electronic dance music artist Eliot Lipp is the headliner at this event that also features Kim Archer and Stephanie Anne Johnson. Food and drinks will be available.
Coconize: A gay stride concert
Tacoma native Vicci Martinez, who was a finalist on “The Voice,” will perform at this event, which also features New York recording artist AB Soto and a Seattle drag queen who made national news at the recent Seattle Pride parade when she “schooled” anti-gay protestors.
4 p.m.-2 a.m. Club Silverstone, 739 ½ St. Helens Ave., Tacoma; $10; 21 and older only
This fundraiser for the Oasis Youth Center will honor allies who make schools a safe and welcoming place for all students. The event features youth monologues, dance, choir performance and desserts.
6 p.m.; Stadium High School Performing Arts Center; 111 N. E St., Tacoma; $25
Tacoma Pride Film Series
Monday: Set in London, “Lilting” is the story of a Cambodian-Chinese mother’s attempt to understand her son after his sudden death. When his lover appears, and despite not sharing a language, they both attempt to overcome their grief over the man who they both loved. (2014, 1:26)
Tuesday: In the comedy “Appropriate Behavior,” Shirin struggles to become an ideal Persian daughter, a politically correct bisexual, and hip young Brooklynite.
Wednesday: The Grand Cinema and Rainbow Center bring a diverse collection of short films by up-and-coming American and international LGBT filmmakers.
Showings at 2 and 7 p.m. daily; Grand Cinema, 606 S. Fawcett, Tacoma; $7.50 matinee, $9.50 evening; grandcinema.com
Wrap it up
The Mix wraps up Pride with signature cocktails, sexual health awareness and HIV prevention.
8 p.m.; St. Helens; free; 21 and older