Taos Pride: Be exactly who you want to be

Pride celebrates this year with movies, bowling, a parade and more

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Taos Pride was launched seven years ago by the late Robert Quintana because "he wanted to throw Taos a great big and fabulous party. It is his vision and joy that lives on through the organization and annual events," a statement on the Taos Pride website states.

That vision has evolved into an annual celebration of diversity and love that includes a film festival, a bowling party, drag shows and the fabulous Pride in the Park. It takes place today through Saturday (Aug. 9-11) at various venues in town.

"We strive to maintain the goals of creating an open space for celebration, respect, sharing, play and remembrance. We want to invite you to join us," the website statement continues.

The event commences with the annual Taos Pride Film Festival. Today (Aug. 9) two 90-minute programs of juried short films about the LGBTQ+ community will be shown. One screening will take place at 6 p.m. and another at 8 p.m. Admission to each program is $6. Screenings will take place at the Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte.

The fun continues Friday (Aug. 10) with the first ever Gutters & Glam party from 6-9 p.m. at Gutters Bowling Alley, 520 Paseo del Cañon East. "Come bowl with your chosen family!"

Teen queens Anastasia and JoJo hit the lanes to strut and perform down a lane specially reserved as a runway, according to Gutters owner-founder Shelly Ratigan. Bowling begins at 6 p.m. The drag performance is at 7 p.m., followed by more bowling at 8 p.m. Free admission. Those who wish to bowl will pay regular rental fees. For more, call (575) 708-4598 or visit taosbowling.com.

Saturday (Aug. 11) brings the extra special Pride Parade where anyone is invited to express exactly who they are. The parade starts at 11 a.m. when the collection of floats and walkers begins at the Taos County Administrative-Judicial Complex at Paseo del Pueblo Sur and Albright Street. The parade then proceeds north along Paseo del Pueblo Sur y Norte until it concludes at Kit Carson Park.

"This will be the fourth year we parade through town." the website states. "It is a small town affair. Look for a stream of old trucks, hot cars and a ton of colorful people walking the parade route … If you want to participate, show up in the courthouse parking lot on Saturday and pitch in with the decoration. If you would rather watch, line the side of the street and cheer between 11 and 11:30 a.m."

Pride in the Park is a celebration that takes place from 11:45 a.m. until 5 p.m. in Kit Carson Park.

A whole afternoon of bands, burlesque, variety acts and drag performances for the boys and the girls in the audience is planned.

Scheduled to appear are Emcee Dahlia T Stratton, "American Idol" finalist" David Hernandez (at 2:30 p.m.), Kiki Stratton, Alyria Stratton, Joanna Montoya, Trey Charming Michaels, Jesus Vilette Martínez, Elijah Daniels, Bella Gigante, Nic Sedillo, Miss Santa Fe, Mr. Emperor, Jojo, Zumba Carlos, Mr. New Mexico Pride Armani, Trio Las Traviesas Mariachi, Banjo Billy, Compania Chucales Y Mina Fajado Flamenco, Coco's Henhouse of Burlesque and Off Broadway Dancers.

A range of vendors will also be on-hand selling gifts, local crafts, affordable art and various confections. There will also be food concessions, and a beer garden for the thirsty.

After all that, revelers may want to rest up for the "Gayest Drag Show Ever!" from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. at The Alley Cantina, 121 Teresina Lane, off the northwest corner of Taos Plaza. New Mexico's hot DJ, Scoobie, will be laying down dance tracks all night. Drag queens from New Mexico and Texas will be performing to ignite the night.

For more information, visit taospride.org.

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