Sunday was Capitol City Pride in Des Moines, and Heidi, Anna and I all trekked down for the event. Heidi and Anna had gone last year -- I was working -- and had a blast. I was so jealous that I missed it we made sure to figure out when it was this year so that we didn't miss it. Miraculously, I didn't have to work and there was nothing else scheduled for that days so we were able to go.
Des Moines Pride probably has nothing on Pride celebrations in say Chicago, New York or L.A. (hell, it's probably not even as good as the one in Iowa City, although having never been to that one, I can't really say) but it's still pretty good. The weather was kind of crappy -- not rainy, but COLD! For June 11th, you would certainly not expect it to top out at 62 degrees. But it did, plus the sun never came out and it was windy. But as we kept saying, at least it didn't rain.
Anna was dressed to the nines in her rainbow sun dress, rainbow tights and ruby red slippers. She even bought face stickers at Target and a new pony tail holder. Originally, she was wearing her tye-dyed rainbow socks, but as it proved to be too cold to go without something on her legs, she opted for her rainbow tights, which techincally clashed with her dress. But it didn't matter to her. She kept on bugging me about when the parade was going to start (we got there about an hour early) and kept on seeing balloons and various floats that were in the parade as they got the parade set up. She met up with a couple little girls there and played with them, giving them each a rainbow lei.
The parade started around 12pm and it was shorter than I expected. But man, could those guys throw candy for the kids. The only reason Pufferbilly Days in Boone (the reigning champion in volume of candy thrown from floats) has more candy is because it's longer -- if the Pride parade had even been 3/4ths as long as Pufferbilly Days, Pufferbilly Days would have been left in the dust.
Here's probably my favorite picture I snapped of the parade (and my current desktop):
After that, it was down to the Simon Estes Amphitheater for entertainment, booths, etc. Amazingly, only one food vendor was there to serve the thousands of people that turned out. We watched as various drag queens lip synched to the usual suspects (Cher, Madonna, Weather Girls) and Anna loved dancing around on the hillside. At one point, one of the drag queens (that Anna refers to as "princesses") was standing chatting with a group of people sitting nearby. Anna (to our amazement) wanted to go say hi to the "princess" and have her picture taken.
In the final analysis, she looks a little freaked out, but she kept on wanting to go up and talk to her. A little bit later, she educated me by saying rather matter-of-factly "Daddy, those princesses are really boys."
It was a fun day, but what I loved the most were the number of straight, young families there as well as the thousands of GLBTs as well. I spotted a straight couple across the street from us with a baby that couldn't have been any older than a few months. What a great way to start life! The atmosphere was so welcoming and accepting and you can pretty much guarantee that anyone there didn't vote for Bush (although Heidi said you might be surprised.) I can't wait for next year.
And here's a YouTube video from the day as well.
Update: I almost forgot to post the link to my Flickr.com photo album of the event. Here it is.