At left, Assembly members Harriet Drummond and Elvi Gray-Jackson with an organizer at the 2012 PrideFest
ANCHORAGE - More than a thousand people thronged the Delaney Park Strip or marched in the PrideFest parade on Saturday, which featured decorated floats, rainbow and otherwise colorfully-clad marchers, and Anchorage Assembly members Elvi Gray-Jackson and Harriet Drummond, who were carrying a banner reading “Anchorage Won’t Discriminate.”
The politicians’ banner was a leftover from the failed Proposition 5 anti-discrimination initiative, which would have added gays, lesbians and transgendered people to the Anchorage municipal code’s protected classes. Despite the failure of the equal rights proposition, the mood at the 2012 PrideFest was ebullient.
The celebratory atmosphere was in contrast to last year’s Pride Parade, when, shortly after the start of the parade, the car carrying Grand Marshall Doug Franks went out of control and ran over and killed marcher James Crump.
There was a moment of silence for Crump at Saturday’s celebration, but notwithstanding that incident and the failure of the anti-discrimination initiative, the crowd reveled in the midday sunshine as emcee Daphne DoAll LaChores introduced the parade marchers and various groups’ two dozen-plus floats.
This year their theme was “Be Seen, Be Heard, Be Pride,” and if anyone found themselves attempting to drive near the park strip between 11 a.m. and noon, the LGBT community was certainly seen.
This year’s grand marshal was Trevor Storrs, former director of the Four A’s AIDS assistance foundation. Sponsors included the Millennium Hotel, the Copper Whale Inn, KFAT radio, the Four A’s, D-Zine Alaska, Great Land Infusion Pharmacy, Credit Union One, Castle Megastore and the Anchorage Central Labor Council, as well as several LGBT groups.