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In the sunlight of a beautiful Boulder day, the light, sound of music, people and excitement fluttered through the air on Pearl Street, attracting multitudes of shoppers and walkers to Boulder Pride’s annual Block Party.
Boulder Pride is an organization which works toward LGBT civil rights issues as well as offering opportunities for members of the LGBT community to meet, and the Block Party has been working toward both goals since 2001.
Dave Ensign, Treasurer for Boulder Pride, described the Block Party as “a visible event to show the LGBT community that they have a safe place to be, (and) to communicate our part of the larger community.”
At first, the Block Party didn’t seem any different from other festivals that happen on Pearl Street. Kids ran down the block with face paintings, vendors offered a variety of fun products like temporary tattoos and jewelry, and live music flooded the street.
In fact, the only ways people may have realized this was a Boulder Pride event were the various rainbow colored flags strewn throughout the block and the full dance floor. At one point, Disco Mountain (the band performing at the time) shouted “I like seeing you all dance, it makes me feel good!”
The crowd laughed, knowing that most people are too uncomfortable to dance in public with the fervor and excitement that was seen here. Elderly adults, kids and couples all danced together to the fast-paced music of Disco Mountain.
It is this relaxed and diverse atmosphere that characterized the event. There were no hostile protests, nor were there angry and uncomfortable looks from disapproving onlookers. Just strangers having pleasant conversations and smiling faces leaving the free massage area.
Boulder’s own Café of Life offered free 10 minute massages to all who wanted.
Grace Hwang, co-marketing director of Café of Life, said that the event “doesn’t feel like work. I get to interact with people and help them enjoy themselves. It’s a way to help people heal themselves.”
Kathy Robey, also co-marketing director of Café of Life agreed.
“It helps people rest and relax, and definitely enjoy themselves,” Robey said.
In a fashion seemingly forgotten in the stress and anxiety of daily life, the crowd at Boulder Pride’s Block Party looked relaxed, comfortable and most importantly, like a crowd enjoying itself.
For more information on Boulder Pride, visit www.boulderpride.org. For more info on Café of Life, call 303-444-7744.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Andrew Salazar at Andrew.Salazar@colorado.edu.