All across the state, we are celebrating Juneteenth and Pride in living rooms, parks, and community art centers. Inclusion of all and equality for all is one of the four core pillars of a thriving democracy. In these times of culture war, public celebrations like these are a key way that organizers are holding space and advancing democracy at the local level.
Folks from Douglas County to the Columbia River Gorge have been hosting festivals, marching down main streets, showing up for their libraries and so much more! To celebrate the beautiful organizing from all over rural Oregon, we have included a (very incomplete) round-up of photos, stories, and links. Don’t see your community here? Send us stories, photos, or articles and we can post to social media or do another roundup! Email us at email@example.com or message us directly on Facebook (@Rural Organizing Project) or Instagram (@ruralorganizingproject).
Philomath hosted its second annual Pride picnic. Local organizers shared that the event was a big success, and helped in their efforts to continue making local progressives and organizers feel connected. They added, “This year the event grew with booths, children’s activities, etc. Folks came from outside of Philomath with resources and support.”
In North Bend, Southern Oregon Coast Pride hosted its first Gay Prom this July (pictured below) in addition to a Coos County Pride in the Park festival!
Southern Oregon Coast Pride shared: “Our Brookings event, which was held June 2nd and 3rd was a HUGE success. We had a Queer Skate Night on Friday, June 2nd for all ages. Then we hosted the first annual Pride in the Park @ Brookings and had 300+ people come through! There was music, dancing, face painting, arts and crafts, vendors, and allied organizations that came to join us in celebration. We can’t wait to do this again next year. The group of local organizers went above and beyond and built great connections while planning this successful event.”
They also hosted a Drag time story hour, pictured below!
Grants Pass Remembrance Coalition walked in the community Boatnik Parade in honor of Juneteenth. Their Sunrise Project seeks to “help Grants Pass, a former sundown town, to reconcile its history by developing a new identity as a sunrise community.”
They shared: “Our presence in the Boatnik Parade was well received and meaningful because the Ku Klux Klan marched down the same street for countless years. We handed out packets of Oregon Sunshine seeds emblematic of so much about our project.
“Despite thunderstorms we had 60 folks show up for our 1st annual Juneteenth Celebration. The event was family friendly with face painting, games, opportunities for learning and sharing about Juneteenth, and joining in a fantastic game of Juneteenth Bingo!”
Community for All in Lake County hosted their first public pride in June and they made it onto the front page of the local paper!
They had multiple booths including a very popular face-painting stand, a local church, and the county health department.
Organizers in Albany hosted the community’s 6th annual pride in June! More than 70 vendors and organizations participated. This year, there was a marriage proposal during Pride! Organizers shared that “love filled the air as the crowd erupted in cheers, witnessing a precious bond being sealed with a resounding “YES!” Love knows no boundaries, and Albany Pride became the perfect backdrop for this incredible display of commitment and unity.” Check out the Albany Pride Facebook page for more photos and updates!
United Pendleton Pride partnered with other local groups and businesses to host their annual pride in June, and it was amazing! The festivities included a parade with over 200 people, as well as booths and performances at the local Center for the Arts. Organizers made sure to have a strong safety and security plan, with a “Zombie Outbreak Team” in inflatable suits bringing up the rear of the parade, and bringing in partners with the Party for Socialism and Liberation as additional support.
People Like Us (a new nonprofit in the county) threw an impressive Stonewall Pride Walk on the 28th with over 100 attendees and their local newspaper, The Chieftain, covered the event front and center on the front page!
They also have their 7th annual Pride celebration coming up on August 19th at Wallowa Lake State Park. More info here.
Want your pride photos, Juneteenth stories, and more summer celebrations shared with folks across rural Oregon? Reply to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can post about you too!