SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Vehicles took to a stretch of Main Street on Sunday in celebration of National Coming Out Day. The event was part of the second annual Utah Pride Road Rally and is a partnership between the Utah Pride Center and Young Automotive Group.
“The Pride Road Rally is an opportunity to show our love and support and tell the broader community that we exist, we are here, and we’re proud of who we are,” said Jonathan Foulk, Interim CEO of the Utah Pride Center.
The idea for Pride Road Rally started last year when COVID-19 forced the Utah Pride Center to cancel the annual Pride Festival and Parade. After witnessing the healthy turnout for the road rally in 2020, the Utah Pride Center planned another rally this year.
This year’s rally featured cars and other vehicles with messages of positivity while showing off plenty of color. There were no shortage of unicorns on display on top of cars, either.
Chris Wharton, an attorney running for Salt Lake City Council for the Third District also participated in the event in his blue Pontiac. Sponsors and organizations like Equality Utah, had booths at the rally. Attendants stood behind barricades and waved rainbow flags in support of the LGBTQ+ community.
Some may be wondering whether the traditional pride parade will ever return and Foulk says at this time, the traditional pride festival with booths and a parade will make a return next year.
“We’re planning on a full pride [festival] next year,” Utah Pride Center CEO Stacey Jackson Roberts said.
The road rally event will be evaluated to see if it will be brought back subsequently.
“Given the pandemic, there are various factors at play that will weigh on whether that’s possible but we are currently planning on having a full Pride next year,” Roberts said.
Despite the rally being an outdoor event, precautions were taken to keep people safe from COVID-19 infections. Roberts said all participants were required to be vaccinated and participants were required to wear a mask if they engaged with the public.
The event also served as a fundraiser to provide funding for services at the Utah Pride Center including mental health and wellness services, education and training, providing a safe community space, suicide prevention resources, and senior programs, among others.
“We at the Utah Pride Center work to protect and uplift the voices of Utah’s LGBTQ+ community. We hope that our lifesaving work resonates louder to our community members,” Foulk said.