BY RENE THOMPSON The 2016 Albuquerque Pride Parade happens Saturday, June 11, at 10 a.m. The parade itself joyfully represents the LGBTQ community up and down storied Route 66. This year’s 40 Years Proud celebration boasts plenty of distinctively Pride-themed events surrounding a week that culminates in one of the largest annual parades in New Mexico. Read about a handful of those events below, and visit abqpride.com to learn more. LGBTIQ Candlelight Vigil Thursday, June 9, 7 p.m. Morningside Park 300 Aliso NE As the site of Albuquerque’s first Pride March in 1976, Morningside Park is adorned with metal art sculptures provided by the City of Albuquerque that honor the LGBTIQ; the I stands for intersex. The vigil celebrates and honors those who began the Pride movement and attracted more than 300 participants in 2015. The event is free, and the opening Pride celebration follows. Art Reception Friday, June 10, at 7 p.m. Expo New Mexico 300 San Pedro NE The Century 21 Unica Real Estate Art Show honors local artists for special achievements with awards given to participating artists in a number of categories. Refreshments will be provided, and a grand toast will signal commencement of LGBTQ celebration. Scalo Pride Pancake Breakfast Saturday, June 11, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Scalo Northern Italian Grill 3500 Central SE Watch the parade in style from the patio of Scalo Northern Italian Grill. Devour a stack of rainbow flapjacks at Pancakes for Pride. Entry is $20, and alongside colorful pancakes, you get your own spot away from the crowds. Make sure to get there early to secure a seat. PrideFest Saturday, June 11-12, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Youth Dance: 7:30-10:30 p.m. Expo New Mexico 300 San Pedro NE After the parade, PrideFest is the place to go for music, dancing, two beer zones, a poetry slam and a water/play park where everyone can cool off. The PrideFest fun zone will offer inflatable jousting, boxing, sumo wrestling and a mechanical bull to test riders’ cowboy skill. Local LGBTQ archives collected over several decades will be on display, and there’s also a car show scheduled. General admission tickets for PrideFest are $15 via holdmyticket.com/tickets/238438 Visit abqpride.com to learn more about this year’s local Pride events. Rene Thompson is a staff reporter for ABQ Free Press.
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