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This weekend’s Paducah PrideFest to feature local, regional drag showcase

Paducah PrideFest performance
Beautiful Paducah
Paducah PrideFest performance

A western Kentucky nonprofit is hosting the second edition of its annual Paducah PrideFest celebration this weekend.

The yearly celebration of LGBTQ culture – hosted by Beautiful Paducah, a nonprofit organization “committed to the beautification and preservation” of the McCracken County seat – will take place downtown in the lot between the Johnson Bar and Italian Village from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Dozens of local and regional drag performers will take part in a six-hour showcase. There will also be main stage performances from DJ Sol, “American Idol” contestant Noah Davis, violinist Julia Watkins, drag headliners Roxxxy Andrews and Landon Cider and the Dancing Bear Tribe. Numerous food vendors, nonprofit organizations and businesses will also be on hand.

With over 50 vendors and groups participating, lead organizer Jeff Hudson is grateful for all of the businesses who are allies and support Paducah Pride.

“It’s more important than ever, they’re putting their names out there to, you know, show their commitment to equality and the LGBTQ community,” Hudson said.

Family friendly programming will also be on offer at the Hotel 1857, including a reptile education program and hula-hoop lessons. The hotel will also host ticketed meet-and-greet opportunities for some of the performers, including Noah Davis, Heidi N Closet, Roxxxy Andrews, and Landon Cider. Tickets can be purchased at the on-site merch booth. Hotel 1857 is also hosting an after party for the 21-and-up crowd after festivities end on the main stage.

Donations from last year’s PrideFest were put into the 2023 festival. Hudson said the “grassroots group of volunteers” that teamed up with Beautiful Paducah also used some of the donations to support other Pride events in the area.

There is a suggested $10 donation to attend the festival. Hudson said these funds will continue to be put towards Pride events in western Kentucky.

For more information regarding Paducah PrideFest, check out the event’s website for a 2023 Pride Guide and a list of available parking options.

Editor's Note: WKMS is a sponsor of Paducah PrideFest.

Zoe Lewis is a first-year sophomore at Murray State University from Benton, Kentucky. She is majoring in journalism with a minor in media production. She enjoys reading, going to movie theaters, spending time with her family and friends, and eating good food. Zoe is an Alpha Omicron Pi sorority member in the Delta Omega chapter. She is very excited to start working at WKMS and work while learning more about NPR, reporting, journalism, and broadcasting.
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