Utah’s Pride Week will be back this summer, organizers promise

The Utah Pride Center vows ‘the longest Pride Parade route Utah has ever experienced,’ after two years off because of the pandemic.

(Isaac Hale | Special to The Tribune) Meggane Vasquez, right, and Heidi Thomas, a recently engaged couple from Salt Lake City, share a kiss at the start of the Rainbow March and Rally in Salt Lake City as part of Utah Pride Week on Sunday, June 6, 2021. The Utah Pride Center announced the 8-day festival would return in June 2022.

After two years off because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Utah Pride Center plans to bring back its Pride Week celebrations in full — including “the longest Pride Parade route Utah has ever experienced.”

The center announced its plans Thursday via Facebook that it would hold a full-scale, 8-day Pride Festival in June, with various events each day.

The center is seeking volunteers for its Pride Week Planning Committee, to help shape what the festival will look like. Applications are open online now; proof of vaccination is required to participate. The center also is seeking theme ideas from members and allies on its Instagram account. Friday, Feb. 4, is the last day to submit a theme; the winning theme will be announced on Feb. 11.

The Pride Festival has been held in modified forms in 2020 and 2021, to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. The last time a full-sized Pride Parade has walked down Salt Lake City streets was in 2019.

The Utah Pride Center is still dealing with the Jan. 19 announcement that its CEO, Stacey Jackson-Roberts, would step down after only five months in the job, citing “health and family reasons.” Three “co-collaborative executive officers” are splitting leadership duties at the center, board chair Chris Jensen announced after Jackson-Roberts’ resignation.

Before Jackson-Roberts’ arrival, the center had faced allegations of discrimination, as well as a lawsuit from five former employees who claim they were wrongfully terminated. That lawsuit is still ongoing.