August 25, 2018
Downtown Bloomington overflowed with rainbow flags, stickers, patches, jackets, bottle cozies, face paint, bandanas, bracelets, and so much more as the annual Pridefest took over. For several glorious hours on Saturday, Bloomingtonians could be even more unapologetically gay than we usually are –this time, with booze and ice cream to beat the heat.
Vendors sold food and drink, as well as any kind of pride-themed goodies you could think of. There was free HIV testing and information about consent and safe sex. Of course, the star of any Pride is the entertainment, and Btown’s is no different.
This year saw two stages, double last year’s number, play host to bands and a poetry reading. Throughout the day, local drag queens from Bloomington’s one and only gay bar, the Back Door, performed in the heat.
But once the sun went down, the main stage lit up for the main performance: Local queens got the crowd screaming and dancing, and the headline of the festival, Sasha Velour, winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 9, performed three stunning numbers that oozed with the glitz and glam of old Broadway, and were overflowing with love of drag.
The whole festival was full of love and support, from the people on the street corners with signs offering ‘Free Hugs,’ to the joy of the cheering crowd dancing together with complete strangers.
If you’re ever in Bloomington in late August, I highly recommend heading to Pride.