June is Pride Month, and we can't wait for these local events.
At last year’s PrideFest in St. Louis, “There were tutus and feathers and rainbows everywhere,” remembers Verena Bogan, a training specialist at Commerce Bank who volunteered at the festival. “Everyone was having a good time,” as they browsed the many craft and clothing vendors, danced along to live bands and performers and feasted on food truck favorites. Verena was in the Family Fun Korner, helping kids make kites and pick out face painting designs.
But she says the kids’ favorite activity was definitely the bounce house. This was true in Kansas City as well, where Commerce team members Marvin Rodgers (ACH operations supervisor) and Anthony Evangelista (RLPS utility collector) volunteered last year. “The kids were so excited,” says Marvin. “They were so sad when I had to stop them to sign a waiver. But they were back in action in no time.”
According to Anthony, even adults and teenagers took part in the bounce house fun. As he’ll tell you, Pride festival is for people of all ages. His 13 year-old daughter Quinlyn has joined him both times he’s volunteered for Kansas City’s PrideFest. The event happens in Berkley Riverfront Park, and “you’re right on the river, the park is gorgeous,” Anthony shares. “All these people come together and have fun without judgment – it’s a great day.” When asked if he has any tips for festival-goers, Anthony recommends, “Get there early, but that’s true for any big event. Bring sunscreen.”
It was a beautiful, sunny day in St. Louis when Britanee Mosley, a senior digital banking representative, volunteered. “It was like a big community barbeque,” she says. An outgoing person, Britanee was out in the crowd greeting people and welcoming kids and their parents to the Family Fun Korner. “I was meeting people I wouldn’t bump into in my regular life, and everyone was excited to socialize that day.”
She says, “If I could do it every day, I would. It’s just happy.”
Pride events are a celebration of LGBT Pride Month in June, and they represent inclusion, equality and community. That’s why we love Pride festivals and support several community events. In honor of LGBT Pride Month, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite Pride festivals. Be sure to look up what day in June your local Pride event will take place.
2018 Pride events:
- June 1-3 – Kansas City – Kansas City PrideFest
- June 8-10 – Hutchinson, KS – Salt City Pride
- June 16 – Springfield, MO – Greater Ozarks Pridefest
- June 23-24 – St. Louis – PrideFest & LGBT Career Fair
If you go to one of these events, look for us at a booth or in the kids’ activity area. We’d love it if you stopped by and said hi!