PRIDE Returns: NWA cities prepare to celebrate in June

PRIDE Returns: NWA cities prepare to celebrate in June

The organizers who put together the Natural State’s largest event for Pride Month did what they could in 2020 to give people a chance to celebrate. The 2019 Pride parade in Fayetteville was the city’s largest ever — Dickson Street flooded with tens of thousands of revelers waving flags, balloons, streamers, beads and more.

Everything took place completely online last year, including a virtual parade stringing together video submissions, the annual Glitterville afterparty, a kids’ puppet show and more. As restrictions continue to ease in response to waning covid-19 numbers, Northwest Arkansas communities eagerly await the return of PRIDE as well.

June has been “officially” proclaimed Pride Month since President Bill Clinton’s declaration in 1999, but the month has served as a time for important social observances since the Stonewall Riots in 1969, when members of the LGBT community fought back against police brutality. The events led to a turning point in the fight for LGBT equal rights and have subsequently been celebrated at the end of June.

Here is a roundup of some of the region’s events scattered through the month. If you don’t see your event listed here, send your info to What’s Up! Associate Editor Jocelyn Murphy at


You Belong | Community Resource Fair — An inclusive day of music, community and good vibes on the Momentary lawn in celebration and support of the LGBTQIA+ community. In partnership with the NWA Women’s Shelter, the fair will bring awareness to the disproportionate rate of domestic violence affecting the queer community. Event includes music by DJ Girlfriend, food trucks and drag shows by local queens. 12-5:30 p.m. June 5. Free with timed-entry tickets.

Purple Reign Drag Show — Second annual fundraiser benefiting the NWA Women’s Shelter. Favorite local drag queens will perform along with Crystal Methyd, a season 12 finalist from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Hosted by the Momentary. 8-10 p.m. June 5. 246-9999,

Bentonville PRIDE Festival — Bentonville’s inaugural Pride Festival with food trucks, backpacks for purchase benefiting NWA Equality Center, performances and more, hosted at the Momentary. 10:30 a.m. June 5-2:30 p.m. June 6.

Stephanie Pierson (left) of Fayetteville gets a hug from Tammy Shook with the Free Mom Hugs group during the 2019 Northwest Arkansas Pride Festival parade on Dickson Street in Fayetteville. The event has grown to be the largest Pride event in the state and returns June 26. (The Free Weekly File Photo)

Out on the Mat — A Day of Self Love for the LGBTQ+ Community.

The staff at Yoga Story celebrate Pride Month with an afternoon of loving kindness toward ourselves and others. Meet and connect with others in the LGBTQ+ community while enjoying an all-levels flow, yin with sound healing and guided meditation, 1-4 p.m. June 6. Proceeds from tickets and T-shirt sales benefit NWA Equality Center. $25.

Pride Celebration Concert with Dazz & Brie — In collaboration with NWA Equality Center, Little Rock rock-and-soul duo Dazz & Brie will perform during an evening hosted by local drag queens in Crystal Bridges Museum’s North Forest, 7-9:30 p.m. June 12. 418-5700, $10-$12.


Pride at C4 — C4 Nightclub & Lounge at 509 W. Spring St. hosts Northwest Arkansas’ only weekly drag show every Sunday at 9:30 p.m. This year, the club’s annual Pride events return with the BlackLight Party, Femme Friday, White Party and Pride Cook Out. More details coming soon.

NWA PRIDE Parade — Arkansas’ largest LGBTQ Pride event that, at its peak, has welcomed up to 20,000 people to Dickson Street in celebration. 17th annual. More details coming soon. June 26. Free.


Harmony in the Hollow Pagan and Pride Festival — A music and arts festival spread across beautiful Hidden Acres Farm outside of Russellville for Pagan Pride and LGBTQ Pride. Music from Louis Garou and Krista Chapman Green, classes and workshops, and local vendors fill a no-discrimination weekend at 411 Sims Hollow Rd. Ticket includes weekend camping; no re-entry. $25.

Share Your Pride!

This community has so much to be proud of! Share your favorite pride memories and photos with us at While you’re there, take some time to listen to stories of others in your community.

Categories: In The News