Mid-Missouri Pride Fest Returns to Columbia With Additional COVID-19 Precautions
The Mid-Missouri Pride Fest is returning to downtown Columbia this weekend – after a year off due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“And I think this pride, everyone is twice as excited. We've had two years to build up to it. They are like – chomping at the bit,” Co-chair Janet Davis said. “We have had an overwhelming community response to being able to be out there this year. We're lucky we're outside so we can socially distance.”
"Reach out to anybody in a shirt that says 'volunteer,' and we will make sure you are in a position to feel safe to walk around Pride."
Davis said this is the event’s 16th year, but people may notice some differences due to the ongoing pandemic. One of those changes is that the outdoors event will be held over two days – with an entirely different line-up of entertainment and vendors each day.
She said this is so as many groups as possible could be included, while maintaining safety and social distance.
Masks will not be required at the event, but Davis said to bring a mask anyway, as vendors may require them in their space and masks will be enforced in the Family area.
“Our family area masks will be 100 percent required because, as you know, our youngin’s can't get vaccinated yet, so all of our family booth volunteers will all be masked up, there will be sanitizer everywhere you go,” Davis said. “Everywhere you turn, you'll see sanitizer.”
Davis says that there will also be opportunities throughout the weekend for people to get their COVID-19 vaccination. Burrell Behavioral Health Pharmacy will provide COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday from Noon to 5:00 p.m., and Columbia/Boone County Public Health & Human Services will do the same on Sunday.
“So not only are we trying to be socially distant and safe,” Davis said. “We're trying to help stop this pandemic by offering vaccinations.”
Davis encouraged anyone that is unsure about coming to the event due to COVID-19, to reach out, and she says the staff and volunteers want everyone to feel welcome, included, and safe.
“Reach out to anybody in a shirt that says volunteer, and we will make sure you are in a position to feel safe to walk around Pride,” Davis said. “Even if we have to walk you around ourselves – making sure that you're socially distanced and safe.”
Mid-Missouri Pride Fest is this weekend at Rose Music Hall. Events on both Saturday and Sunday begin at Noon, and the event is free to attend.