Celebrating Pride with NWA Equality

This June, Northwest Arkansas is celebrating 20 years of celebrating Pride! To kick off the celebration, we spoke with Richard Gathright, NWA Equality Director for NWA Pride Weekend about all the exciting events to put on your calendar! 

In addition to producing Northwest Arkansas Pride festivities, NWA Equality is a nonprofit organization providing programming, education, and advocacy to serve, connect, and empower the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community. They provide free HIV/STI testing services, various support groups, resources, and social and community outreach events. Keep reading to learn more about all the exciting events happening this month – from parades to parties, there is something for everyone!

A joyful person with clown makeup wears a rainbow-striped outfit, a red nose, and a colorful bead necklace, standing in front of a festive backdrop adorned with multicolored stars, embodying the vibrant spirit highlighted by The Scout Guide.

In partnership with The Momentary, NWQ Equality is hosting an evening with opener and comedian Jack Besinger, featuring Saturday Night Live star Sarah Sherman (aka Sarah Squirm) for an unforgettable evening! The evening is sold out, but be sure to following along with NWA Equality and The Momentary for sneak peeks from the show!

Friday, June 28th

Festivities surrounding the Pride celebration officially kick off with the Trans March and Festival on Friday, June 28th at 7pm at the Fayetteville Town Center! This is the 4th year for the Trans March in Fayetteville, and Richard shared that Fayetteville is the only city in Arkansas that has a Trans March, which is amazing! After the march, be sure to stick around for local vendors and a drag show happening later that night at the Plaza center! 

A vibrant and bustling street scene at a pride parade with a diverse crowd of spectators and participants under a canopy of trees, featuring colorful flags, balloons, and festive attire, showcasing the lively spirit of the community as part of The Scout Guide's exploration of local events and cultures.

Saturday, June 29th

The NWA Pride Festival will kick off on Saturday, June 29th at 11am in the entertainment district and go until 4:30pm! The Youth Zone will also be at Fay town center 11-3pm, with arts & crafts for all ages! At the Youth Zone, there will also be a drag story hour with The Honorable Evelyn Rios Stafford and Mayor Jordan. This is a celebration for all ages, as there will be vendors and exciting entertainment like Big Freedia performing at 3:30pm at the Tyson Main Stage! The Pride Parade will kick off at 5pm, with entertainment at the Fossil Cove Stage at Kingfish, a teddy bear contest, and also a drag show that evening! We think this is a great way to support the LGBTQ+ community and enjoy downtown Fayetteville! 

To continue the celebration, Glitterville – the official party of NWA Pride, will get the party started around 9pm at George’s Majestic Lounge with Plasma, from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 16, and Kylie Sonique Love, winner of the 6th season of Drag Race All Stars! Plus Drag Race royalty Maddy Morphosis, Axel Andrews of Florida, and DJ Tyler Moore headlining the party. Glitterville’s local lineup features Arkansas entertainers Taylor Madison Monroe, Ella Rosa, and reigning Miss Gay Arkansas, Vanessa Rayne. The event is 21+, and there will be a meet and greet with Plasma and Kylie Sonique Love beginning at 10:30pm with premium ticket purchases.

Sunday, June 29th

The party doesn’t actually stop on Saturday though! Enjoy the day Hi Tea brunch, with dancing & a pool party at Mount Sequoyah Center. With food and drinks from the Rabbit Hole pop-up, and sick beats spinning from DJ hART thROB and DJ Tyler Moore! All tickets include pool party admission and unlimited food and drinks. The Hi Tea brunch will run from noon until 3pm, with light snacks and beverages from 3pm – 6pm. This event is also 21+, and advanced tickets close on Friday, June 28th with limited general admission entry available at the gate.

More events!

Other events happening leading up to Pride weekend include:

  • Happening June 22nd is Fashion Fit for a Queen, an evening of Fashion Cabaret presented by Big Sister Studio, with proceeds going to NWA Equality
  • At a TSG favorite, Maxine’s will be hosting a dance party June 28th at 8pm
  • C4 Nightclub & Lounge is also hosting an Evening with the Boys on the 28th
  • There will also be a meet and greet with Big Freedia at Nomad’s West End happening June 29th! 

To learn more about the important work that NWA Equality is doing for the LGBTQ+ community, visit their website here and be sure to follow along on Insta. To purchase tickets for any of the events mentioned, click here. To buy some of their INCREDIBLE merch, visit their website here. Happy Pride! We hope that you join us in celebrating pride all month long, as part of the LGBTQ+ community or as an ally!