The three-day Gay Pride Festival opens Friday at 6 p.m. in Kansas City, Mo., this year in a new location — the West Bottoms.
Rick Bumgardner, who is the festival’s event co-coordinator, said relocating in the field near Kemper Arena offers ample parking, a trendy and up-and-coming location and a potential home for Pride in the future.
Past festival locations have caused controversy in the LGBTQ community. In 2012, a Change.org petition took issue with the commercialization of locating the festival in the Power & Light District.
Bumgardner said the new location will address what some festival-goers have vocalized about returning the festival back to a park setting.
In addition to the new location, Bumgardner said this year’s Pride will feature more local acts.
“We are kind of touting our own this year,” he said.
Lawrence-based artist Stan Herd has been working on a crop art project in the West Bottoms, and invited festival-goers to encircle the project for an aerial photo Saturday at 5 p.m.
DJ Sophia Lin, who was born and raised in Kansas City, will close out the celebrations Saturday from 8 to 10 p.m.
The festival will also feature several local entertainers during its Battle of the Bars Sunday.
You can find out more about the festival at Gay Pride KC’s website.