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Sun, Jan. 26

Mohave Pride Festival at Metcalfe Park Saturday

Courtney Kroenke, far right, and sister, Brittney Bowen, far left, are the lead organizers for Mohave Pride. (Courtesy photo provided by Courtney Kroenke)

Courtney Kroenke, far right, and sister, Brittney Bowen, far left, are the lead organizers for Mohave Pride. (Courtesy photo provided by Courtney Kroenke)

KINGMAN – You’re invited to spend a portion of your Saturday in Metcalfe Park celebrating diversity and openness.

The long-awaited Mohave Pride 2019 takes place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the park at 315 W. Beale St. Admission is free, but family zone bracelets will work like the fair. Purchase a bracelet for $6 and get access to the family activities, including water play area, bouncy houses, face painting, rock painting, hope flags, and $1 off a child or adult shirt at the tie-dye booth. Bracelets are available at Freedom Apparel & Printing, 424 E. Beale St. They will cost $10 on the day of the festival.

It was Courtney Kroenke, a 26-year old face painter, who had the idea. She went to a Pride event in Flagstaff and was impressed by how family-oriented and laid back it was. Then, she attended another one where she had a completely different experience – families with young children were not happy with the atmosphere. It was too political and too sexualized. On the drive back, Kroenke talked with her sister Brittney Bowen about it.

“We can totally do Mohave Pride ourselves,” she realized.

Since January, the sisters have worked nonstop with a group of other organizers. They decided on Metcalfe Park because it has lots of shade, an awesome stage and a playground. Expenses were their own or paid with donations. There was a lot of work to do, including renting the park, getting event insurance and liquor liability insurance. They got great food vendors on board (Garlic Clove and Sirens’ Cafe & Custom Catering, which will serve its #LGBT sandwich or #LGBTQ sandwich, Victoria’s Sugar Shack, Scoops Homemade Ice Cream, and Black Bridge Brewery’s tent and beer garden).

Music includes Royal B*h, Fass and Larsen, The Swillers and DJ Mike Hinman playing, a drawing of items lottery style (gift cards and tickets to local attractions), and … a hug tent. The organizers also will provide a nursing/small children tent (baby changing, feeding and resting), lost and found, a First Aid tent, as well as a bounce house and water play zone.

Whatever your flavor of the rainbow, there is something for everyone at Mohave County Pride. “There will be people greeting the participants,” Kroenke said. “If someone comes dressed up inappropriately, they will have to go home and change. We also got an anonymous donation of 20 cases of water, to make sure our volunteers will remain well-hydrated.”

Mohave Pride people did a great job promoting the event on the social media. For Kroenke and Bowen, this is just a beginning. They are putting together a nonprofit initiative called “And Then.” The goal is to always give local LGBTQ people options and support, and provide them with whatever they need, always making sure that there’s an “and then,” Kroenke said.

Adults are also invited to continue the fun at the drag queen show at 9 p.m. at Black Bridge Brewery, 421 E Beale St. There is no cover charge, but tips for drag queens are welcomed.

Editor's Note: This story was changed to clarify that admission to Pride is free, but family zone bracelets are $6 up to the day of the event and $10 on Saturday.

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