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Murray Pride festivities planned for this weekend

Murray Pride's event logo
Murray Pride, LLC
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A western Kentucky LGBTQIA+ group is hosting its first Pride festivities in Murray this weekend.

Murray Pride, LLC – founded in April – is planning a slew of family friendly and adults-only activities over the next three days.

The group’s education and outreach coordinator Karson McCall said celebrations like this are so important in small communities like Murray because they allow people to become a tighter community and truly get to know their neighbors.

“Events like this are really important not just for the LGBTQ+ community to find a safe haven within their own personal community but also to bring exposure to the community at large,” McCall said. “We as a community are here. We’re a part of your community and we have so much strength, and love and joy to bring the community as a whole and we can all work together to make the community better.”

The festivities will feature a Pride march, live music, drag queens, an art exhibit, children’s activities, a religious service and much more.

Murray Pride president Devan Reed is proud their group is able to host a religious service as a part of their Pride celebrations.

“Since religion and church are such large parts of the local community, we were overwhelmed with their support last year,” Reed said in a release. “It really does help show inclusion of all people in the LGBTQIA+ community - religious or not.”

Murray State University was recently recognized as a LGBTQ-friendly campus by Campus Pride, the leading national nonprofit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create safer, more LGBTQ-friendly learning environments at colleges and universities.

“It is so vital to see the community organize for inclusion beyond the confines of campus,” interim coordinator of the Murray State University Pride Center Abigail Cox said. “The work of Murray Pride, LLC is an exciting addition to the Murray and Calloway County community and the Pride Center fully supports their work.”

For more information about this weekend’s events or Murray Pride, visit the organization’s Facebook or Instagram page.

A schedule of events

Friday

  • A pop-up exhibition held at the Murray Art Guild featuring local queer artists. Attendees on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. have the opportunity to meet artists, use a “creation station” to make art for the parade the next day. A family friendly drag storytime featuring Diana Tunnel and Trey Rollins will be held at 7 p.m.
  • Middle and high schoolers can meet up at The Big Apple Cafe starting at 3 p.m. Friday to make art. Parents are welcome and free food will be provided. 

Saturday

  • People will begin gathering for a Pride march on the Murray State University quad at 9 a.m. and begin marching at 15th and Olive streets at 10 a.m. They will be heading to Central Park. Speakers will be featured at the park amphitheater from 11 a.m. to noon. Vendors, games, educational booths, food trucks and live music will be featured at the park from noon to 4 p.m.
  • Murray’s Playhouse in the Park will host a kids event from noon to 1:30 p.m. The event will be geared for children ages 3 to 8 from noon to 12:30 p.m. and for children ages 8 to 10 from 12:30 to 1 p.m. From 1 to 1:30 p.m., Playhouse in the Park will be host to an all-ages dance party.
  • The Grove will be hosting the Pride Drag Extravaganza starting at 8 p.m. The event is for people over the age of 21 and is set to feature a performance from The Princess as seen on Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Tickets will be available at the door for $25.

Sunday

  • The Arboretum at Murray State University will host an LGBT-friendly spiritual service at the large pavilion at 4 p.m. for all denominations.
A native of western Kentucky, Operle earned his bachelor's degree in integrated strategic communications from the University of Kentucky in 2014. Operle spent five years working for Paxton Media/The Paducah Sun as a reporter and editor. In addition to his work in the news industry, Operle is a passionate movie lover and concertgoer.
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