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

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Emily Autumn Velasquez

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

Itzel Giron

The 16th annual Pridefest “Show me your disco” kicked off June 18, 801 S. Ochoa St.in 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. 

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  • Two girls show off their disco attire at Pridefest.

  • A group of women enjoy each other’s company while eating and drinking from different vendors at Pridefest.

  • Two girls dressed to the “show me your disco” theme as they walk around and participate in different activities vendors have to offer.

  • Two girls dressed up and ready to see the performers take the stage.

  • Tasha Kohl takes the stage in her elaborate costume and has been performing for over 40 years.

  • Miss Pride Touch A’riah takes the stage in a black cover-up that she ends up removing mid-performance.

  • Two women showing their excitement at seeing the different performers take the stage.

  • Lizbeth D’Anni performs in an extravagant blue gown before the drag queens previously seen on RuPaul’s Drag Race take the stage and wrap up the 16th Annual Pridefest.

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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.