The 49th Annual Iowa City Pride Fest and Parade, Iowa's longest-running LGBTQ Pride celebration, takes place June 15th.

The Iowa City Pride Fest & Parade is expected to draw thousands from throughout Iowa to downtown Iowa City, with a full day of entertainment on both an outdoor main stage, and the indoor Englert Theatre stage.

This year's celebration is marked by several new features, including a new parade route, new evening highlight entertainment, new diverse performing artists throughout the day until 10 p.m., indoor all-day programming in the Englert Theatre for the first time, interactive art exhibits, and a new Family Fun Space. 

The all-day event is also the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots that birthed the LGBTQ pride movement, and serves as the inspiration behind modern-day international recognitions of Pride.

Stonewall is the name of a New York bar frequented largely by gay men, drag queens, and transgender people. It was raided on June 29, 1969, by police in a surprise raid that turned violent and spawned several nights of rioting. Stonewall inspired renewed visibility by not only gay men and lesbians, but also drag queens, transgender people, and others who do not conform to gender stereotypes. Stonewall also inspired the formation of community groups and LGBTQ-affirming newspapers nationwide, along with annual recognitions of Pride in the month of June.

Iowa City's Pride celebration is considered the longest-running Pride event in Iowa and the second-oldest in the country. It started in 1970 when a group of students rode in the University of Iowa's Homecoming Parade touting a banner that read "Gay Pride is Gay Power."

For more information about Iowa City Pride Fest & Parade, or to arrange an interview with a Pride board member, contact Christine Hawes at 319-777-9839 or You can also learn more about Iowa City Pride at or

Date of publication

Tuesday, June 11, 2019