Get your rainbows ready!
Kirkland Urban is sponsoring Kirkland Pride for the second year from 3-6 p.m. June 17 at Urban Way Plaza, where a parade will take place along the promenade. Residents are encouraged to dress up and attend the event.
Kirkland Urban, which is an inclusive and open-air shopping center, hosted Kirkland Pride for the first time in 2021.
“We wanted to celebrate Pride and encourage and bring awareness to Kirkland Urban because it was so new and it did open during COVID, and we also wanted to support our retailers,” said Jackie Socha, Kirkland Urban manager.
Socha said hosting the event at the plaza would create additional foot traffic to assist with supporting those newer retailers. She also said Pride is a wonderful and inclusive event that promotes love, and there’s nothing better to celebrate. Being a mother of two also played a role in the decision to start Kirkland Pride, she said.
“I really want them [her children] to grow up with these kinds of experiences and there really wasn’t anything that I had seen on the Eastside, so we created our own [Pride] at Kirkland Urban,” said Socha.
Because last year’s Pride was a pilot event, Kirkland Urban organizers didn’t know what to expect. However, it ended up being very successful, said Socha. For this year’s event, Kirkland Urban took last year’s plan and amplified it with further activations such as a drag queen show, additional parade performers, a float, and more “Instagrammable” moments scattered throughout the site.
Kirkland Pride attendees can also expect to see breakdancing performances by local dance groups, roller-skating performances, a live DJ, festive giveaways, and children’s activities to include airbrush tattoos, face painting and balloons.
While at Kirkland Pride, you won’t have to stray too far to support the LGBTQ+ community during and after the month of June. Local LGBTQ+ organizations PFLAG and Eastside Pride will have booths set up at the event. According to Socha, donating or volunteering with these organizations is a way to support the local LGBTQ+ community in the long term.
“Take initiative to educate yourself about the LGBTQIA community and not necessarily let that burden fall on them, but educate yourself,” said Socha.
Additional ways to support members of the LGBTQ+ community is by creating posts of affirmation and acceptance for the community on social media, which acts as a powerful tool in modern society, said Socha.