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16th annual Pridefest “Show me your disco” kicks off

Emily Autumn Velasquez
“Pride” balloons hang at a 360-degree photobooth June 18 at Pridefest.

The 16th annual Pridefest “Show me your disco” kicked off June 18, 801 S. Ochoa El Paso to celebrate Pride month. The celebration included vendors, food trucks, DJs, performances from artists and drag queens, as well as local vendors and food trucks to celebrate the occasion. 

There were several vendors that included Walmart, Buffalo Wild Wings, photo booths, and local businesses that ranged from accessories to clothing items.  

There was also an inside section known as the V.I.P. area where people could go inside to cool off, grab a drink from the private bar, or go groove on the dance floor that was all set up inside of the Main Room Event Center. 

When Pridefest first began at 3 p.m., different DJs were performing while people were going around from different vendors, trying different foods, and getting themselves drinks. Around 6 p.m. the main performers went on stage and the real fun began as the stage area began to fill up. 

The show officially kicked off with Joey Diamond, a musician from San Francisco,  performing and singing his songs to the crowd. He was first to kick off and did exactly what he was supposed to do, he got the crowd excited and ready to celebrate. 

After Diamond performed, the drag queens began to hit the stage with their elaborate performances.  

The first queen to hit the stage was Tasha Kohl. Her outfit was unique because not only was she on stilts, but she was also in this creature-like outfit that was covered in fur, even in the scorching sun. She has been doing drag for over 40 years and mostly performs in Dallas.  

There was also a performance from this year’s Miss Pride Touch, A’riah. Her performance started with her in a black cover-up and led to her taking it off and performing in a two-piece with chains. 

One of the fan-favorites seen was Sandra X-Tasy as she came out with a Selena impersonation. Sandra was seen in Selena’s iconic purple jumpsuit, singing some of her biggest hits, and even doing some of her iconic dance moves.  

Pridefest also consisted of big performances from drag queens that have come out on RuPaul’s Drag Race such as Kerri Colby, Mariah Balenciaga, and Jorgeous. 

While it was a hot summer day, it did not stop anyone from having fun and celebrating Pride month during the 16th annual Pridefest. 

While that is a wrap on Pridefest, El Paso continues celebrating Pride month. The 17th annual Sun City Pride parade takes place at 10 a.m. June 25 at 700 E. Mills Avenue. The theme goes hand in hand with Pridefest and continues to be “Show me your disco,” with a pride picnic and awards ceremony to follow at Houston Park. The Chihuahuas are hosting their Pride night at 6:35 p.m. June 30 at Southwest University Park as they take on the Oklahoma City Dodgers in celebration of El Paso’s LGBTQ+ community. The last event Sun City Pride has slated is the annual Splash Party from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. July 3 at Wet ‘N’ Wild Waterworld. 

Emily Autumn Velasquez is the editor in chief and may be reached at [email protected]; @emilyautumn on Twitter; @byemilyautumn on Instagram.  

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About the Contributors
Emily Autumn Velasquez
Emily Autumn Velasquez, Editor-in-chief
Emily Autumn Velasquez is the Editor in Chief for the Prospector. She is a senior, majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in rhetoric writing at the University of Texas at El Paso. She is also a freelance photographer/videographer with hopes of continuing a career in sports journalism when she graduates in December.
Itzel Giron
Itzel Giron, Editor-in-chief
Itzel Giron is a senior multimedia journalism and creative writing student at UTEP. She started her journalistic career at The Prospector in the fall of 2021 as a staff reporter and is now editor-in-chief. Thanks to The Prospector and her tenacity, Itzel has had the opportunity to be an intern with KVIA Channel 7 at El Paso. Itzel is also a freelance journalist, and her work has been published in The City Magazine, Borderzine and Walsworth Yearbooks. After graduation, Itzel hopes to continue her passion of journalism by working in broadcast television reporting on politics, entertainment and news.
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16th annual Pridefest “Show me your disco” kicks off