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Capitol Hill Pride Festival
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Capitol Hill Pride Festival

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

On Saturday, June 27, Broadway, between E. John and E. Harrison Sts., was transformed into the first-ever Capitol Hill Pride Festival. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. a crowd of an estimated 5,000 packed the streets to shop, take in entertainment, and celebrate diversity in the Capitol Hill community.

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall, event organizer Charlette LeFevre and the Seattle Museum of Mysteries put together the all-ages festival with nearly 100 booths and vendors and three stages of entertainment.

The festival was scheduled early as not to conflict with the annual Dyke March which was scheduled for later that afternoon. The Capitol Hill Pride Festival was an enormous success. The crowd was as diverse as the neighborhood itself; the streets filled with LGBT people and their families as well as straight allies.

The main stage featured historical pride moments in the form of a history lesson about the Gay and Lesbian movement that was sparked by the 1969 Stonewall Riots. Mark "Mom" Finley emceed the event with music provided by DJ Ricki Michelson. Also making an appearance on the main stage was Rev. Ray Neal of the Metropolitan Community Church Seattle, State Rep. 43rd District Jamie Pederson, City Councilmember Jan Drago, and Sen. Ed Murray.

Stage Latino, located in front of Café Septieme, featured entertainment organized by Entre Hermanos, Efren Chacon with Caliente Neighbours Underground, and Agusto Galerias.

Julia's Stage on Thomas St. featured several bands and DJs as well as performances by Sean Paul, Sasha Scarlett, Drag Chanteuse Arnaldo!, Aleska Manila, Smokee Isaac, Scott Cookie, Corsett, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Julia's also set up a beer garden as well. Situated under the shade of trees on Thomas St., it was the perfect place to grab a beverage and watch the entertainers onstage.

Activities ranged from street performers to a doggie drag contest. People could be seen getting henna tattoos, buying rainbow pride gear, or lunching at one of the many restaurants along Broadway.

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