2nd annual Tigard Pride Parade adds festival ending

Pride celebrations are returning to Tigard this month, with the city capping its second annual parade with a new festival at the end of the route.

The Tigard Pride Parade, June 12, launches from Twality Middle School, with a parade to Tigard High School for a promenade style festival around the school’s track featuring music, community booths and food trucks.

“The City of Tigard has recognized this month for the past several years,” Assistant City Manager Kathy Nyland said. “At a time when so many differences divide us, this proclamation is even more important. We’re working to be the city where everyone can be their true self, the city that welcomes all and provides a sense of belonging.”

Parade registration is currently open for up to 75 vehicles on the city’s website.

“I’m very excited about the event,” Mayor Jason Snider said. “I’m already registered to participate.”

The event is a collaboration between the Tigard-Tualatin School District and the city, which joined others around the nation in designating June as Pride Month to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York’s Greenwich Village.

“It makes me proud to live in Tigard,” Ben Bowman, parade Grand Marshall and TTSD school board chair said. “It’s the city and the school board coming together to say that we a welcome community here. It’s about celebrating everyone for being unique and being who they truly are.”

As a kid growing up in Tualatin, Bowman never could have imagined having a hometown Pride celebration. Gay marriage was still illegal when he graduated in 2010, and despite having a supportive family and going on to live in a supportive environment at the University of Oregon, Bowman struggled to come out.

“It was really hard for me to come out, and I came from some of the easiest circumstances imaginable. I had a welcoming community and a loving family.”

Pride celebrations, like Tigard’s, become even more important at a time when there are still no federal protections in place, and LGBTQIA+ rights are under attack through discriminatory legislation and policies in many places.

“Look down the road. In Newberg, teachers aren’t allowed to fly Pride flags,” Bowman said, referring to a policy enacted by the Newberg School Board last September that bans displaying specific symbols and signs in the classroom, such as those that show support for Black Lives Matter or LGBTQ pride.

It’s one of those one-step up and two steps back situations,” he said. “In the long arc of history, we’re making progress.”

Tigard Sophomore Levi Roberts echoed the poignancy of celebrating and being celebrated.

“Having a Pride celebration here represents to me that there is change being brought about everywhere. It shows that there’s no wrong spot to have queer communities come together and celebrate,” Roberts said. 

Roberts moved to Tigard from San Diego at the start of the school year and has been active in the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, which helped the event.

“For me, Pride is really a reminder that it’s okay to be me,” they said.

Tigard’s Pride Celebration – Parade and Promenade

What: Tigard-Tualatin School District and the City of Tigard are hosting a pride celebration! Our event begins at Twality Middle School with a car and sign decorating party, followed by a car parade, and ends with a celebration at Tigard High School. All activities are free to attend.

Why: Pride Celebration is dedicated to uplifting LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, plus) voices, celebrate LGBTQIA+ culture, raise awareness of issues affecting LGBTQIA+ community, and support LGBTQIA+ rights. The rainbow flag symbolizes LGBTQIA+ pride with variations of the flag to represent diversity. Pride is celebrated in June to recognize the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. Our celebration is for the LGBTQIA+ community and supporters.

Where: Begins at Twality Middle School and ends at Tigard High School

When: Sunday, June 12, 2022
10 – 11:00am Car and Sign Decorating for Pride Parade at Twality Middle School
11 – 11:30am Car Line Up for Parade at Twality Middle School
11:30am – 12:00pm Pride Parade
12:00 – 2:00pm Pride Promenade and Celebration at Tigard High School

How to participate:

  • Cheer on the parade by watching along the route.
  • Register to have a car in the parade. Registration will include option to participate in car decorating. Registration for the car parade is limited to 75 vehicles.
  • Join the celebration at the end of the parade route at Tigard High School. Walk the track in the Pride Promenade! Listen to a live DJ, visit community booths, and grab a bite from onsite food trucks. The track is ADA accessible.

Event information and sign up at tigard-or.gov/explore-tigard/pride-celebration