As June approaches, pride events are in the works on Whidbey Island, including the town of Coupeville’s first ever pride parade.
Front Street business owners Cade Roach and Andrew Ziehl are the organizers of the Coupeville celebration, which will take place on Saturday, June 17. A parade, a public picnic and a family-friendly movie night are all part of the planned festivities.
Roach and Ziehl held some public pride events out of their business last year — a first for Coupeville — but Roach said this year’s events will be even bigger and more visible.
“It’s a really big deal for this very small community,” Roach said.
The fun starts at 10:30 a.m. at the community green, the large field next to the Coupeville Library where the farmers market takes place, with a short opening ceremony. From there, the parade will begin at 11 a.m., with participants walking through downtown, including along Front Street, before looping back to the field.
“The idea of the parade is for everyone to show the community your pride or your support,” Roach said.
Immediately following the parade, there will be a community picnic in the field. Participants are invited to bring their own lunches and picnic blankets and eat together while enjoying activities and live music. Meet Market will provide a craft table with collaborative art projects, and PFLAG, a nonprofit organization supporting LGBTQ+ individuals, will provide lawn games. Sno-Isle Libraries will also have a table.
Musicians at the picnic will include Carly Ann Calbero, a Seattle-based artist who has performed as a busker at Pike Place Market, and Langley teen Anja Bentsen.
The farmers market will be ongoing during the pride picnic. Roach said farmers market personnel have been collaborating with the pride festival to make it one big community event.
The town of Coupeville has also been a supportive partner, Roach added. Coupeville Town Council members unanimously approved a special event permit for the pride festival at their May 9 public meeting.
Saturday evening, there will be a family-friendly outdoor movie on the community green as part of the festival. Participants should bring their own blankets or lawn chairs, and Meet Market will provide popcorn for the viewing of the 2021 Disney Pixar animated film, “Luca.”
Roach said that more community pride events and live music will take place at Meet Market on Sunday, June 18.
Roach and Ziehl opened their business, Meet Market, a year ago this week. In addition to providing a public art studio where visitors can make art for free, the Front Street locale has also become a space where community members, especially youth, feel safe to be themselves, Roach said.
In Langley, a pride parade will take place at noon on Saturday, July 8. Even organizer Jill Edwards said Langley’s last pride parade was in 2018, though the HUB did host a community pride potluck last year.
State Senator Marko Liias will be the parade’s grand marshal. After the parade, there will be a celebration at the South Whidbey Community Center that will include music, food, and booths with info and giveaways.