Boise's Pride Festival Expands For 2017

Jun 16, 2017

Pride flags along Harrison Boulevard, Boise, June 2017.
Credit Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Boise’s Pride Festival is underway at Capitol Park. The annual event celebrating the state’s LGBT community has expanded to two days this year.

As traffic zooms past, Pride Festival board member Joseph Kibbe climbs a ladder up to the light posts lining leafy Harrison boulevard.

"We are putting up Pride flags along Harrison Boulevard for the first time, and I’m actually crying," he says. "This is beautiful. I didn’t ever think this would happen my lifetime. I’ve lived here for almost 36 years. And I was sewing these flags this morning before they’re going up. It’s a work of love."

A few blocks away, a rainbow flag in front of a home was vandalized. While troubling, Kibbe says the annual festival has grown in popularity over the decades.

"This is our 28th year," he says. "And last year, we broke attendance records with over 20,000 people. And we’re expected to have more than that this year. We’ve expanded to a two-day format. This is the first time we’ve ever had the festival on Friday and Saturday."

Joseph Kibbe, Boise Pride Festival board member, on Harrison Boulevard in Boise, June 2017.
Credit Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

In recent years, the LGBT community focused on national issues, such as marriage equality, but Kibbe says, "this year we are going to focus on what’s happening here in own state. To really focus on what’s going on here in our backyard.  How is life for an LGBT person here in Idaho? It’s getting better, but it’s not great. The city of Boise is fantastic, but how do we help the LGBT individuals in Nampa? How do we help the ones in Caldwell? Or Filer?"

The annual Pride Parade starts at the Capitol on Saturday, June 17, at 11:15 AM and runs along Jefferson and Bannock streets. 

Find Tom Michael on Twitter @tom2michael

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