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CRPrideFest set to be the biggest one yet

In 2017, over 5,000 people attended CRPrideFest. Organizers expect this year's numbers to top 7,000. (Photo courtesy of Jen Rowray)

Pride week in Cedar Rapids officially kicked off last Saturday, featuring daily events that celebrate the LGBT community. The biggest celebration yet, CRPrideFest, will be taking place Saturday, July 7 at NewBo City Market.

This year, the CRPrideFest board saw many more local businesses and organizations step up to sponsor the event. Organizers say it's a sign that support for the LGBT community is continuing to grow.

Over 100 vendors will be at the event, which is a record. Music will start at 10:00 a.m. with Lady J from Z102.9 radio station. At 11:00, the program starts, featuring bands The Slow Retreat and Mansfield Avenue, and several community speakers.

Around 1:00 p.m., there will be a drag show featuring five drag queens and a drag king.

Children's activities will be available, and for the first time ever, the Eastern Iowa Circus Collective will be putting on a show.

Organizers hope that people of all ages and gender identities come, but this year, they especially hope to bring an older population from the LGBT community to serve as role models for LGBT youth.

"There’s a lot of kids out there that don’t see older lesbians, they don’t see older gay men, " said Jen Rowray, treasurer and archivist of CRPrideFest. "To see someone real in your community who’s come out, who's not afraid to be out, who's someone you could be in your future, is so important."

CRPrideFest will run until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.

On Sunday, there will be a Pride Brunch at Iowa Brewing Co. from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

For more information, visit this site.

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