While Utah Pride Fest brings tens of thousands of supporters to Salt Lake City every year (90,000 last year, to be exact), there’s always a handful of nay-sayers who come to protest the event. But if they knew how the event positively impacts the community they’re “protecting”, would they feel the same?
First, let’s talk money. Pride Fest is one of the busiest weekends of the year for local businesses in Salt Lake.
One local business owner, Joey Cannella of Cannella’s Restaurant, said that Pride Fest is his most lucrative time of the entire year, and his business doubles over the weekend.
“It’s always great. It’s always a boost in business,” he said of his family business. “We have such a loyal customer base from the LGBTQ community that comes in when it’s not Pride. So when Pride’s here, it’s kind of a big party here.”
In addition to local businesses benefiting from the event, The Utah Pride Center raised about $240,000 last year which was used to provide resources for LGBTQ+ people they serve. The Pride Center states 5 objectives on its’ website: Health, Education, Unity, Partners, and Space — which, regardless of personal beliefs, are values we can all agree on.
And with such a focus on Mental Health Awareness both locally and nationally, working towards a more accepting, empathetic community is something we should all celebrate. The Utah Pride Center provides resources for those struggling with mental illness, and the Pride Festival creates a sense of unity, peace, and support that many say Salt Lake City is lacking.
In essence, Utah Pride = more money, more help for the mentally ill, more empathy, and more LOVE.
Are you in?