El Paso, Texas -- The LGBTQ+ community celebrates PRIDE month every June. After the pandemic put a halt to last year’s El Paso Sun City PRIDE parade, the organization decided to make this year's events a several months-long celebration.
"Some of us were isolated for a whole year because of Covid-19 and right now I think it's time to celebrate life and what a better way to do it thank with PRIDE,” said Carlos Salais, Co-director for the EP Sun City PRIDE parade.
After being forced to cancel last years PRIDE events, the non-profit organization wanted to create something bigger and better this year.
"This year we are in the planning stages for the parade because everything is happening throughout the whole summer," said Salais, "We’re not doing a weekend or a week of PRIDE-- we are actually doing what we call it the Summer of PRIDE.”
The Summer of PRIDE began in June and will last until the end of August.
“We started our first event last Friday with the bingo bar crawl. Saturday we have our block party and then on the 24th we have PRIDE night at the Chihuahuas," said Salais, "We plan on ending the summer of PRIDE with a parade on August 28th at 10 a.m.”
PRIDE festivities usually take place in Downtown El Paso but due to last minute changes during the pandemic the organization had a delay in getting permits with the city.
"That's the reason we decided to do the block party at Raves which help us not having to go through the permits,” said Salais.
This year's block party will include two stages with local and out of town acts as well as information booths and food trucks.
"We're still following all safety protocols," explained Salais, "We will have signs around the block party stating where the hand washing stations are.”
For Salais, this year’s Summer of PRIDE is a celebration not only for the LGBTQ+ community but for everyone else as well.
“Last year people were not able to go out and celebrate because we were all quarantined," said Salais, "I think it’s a reason to go ahead and celebrate this year not only PRIDE but just to thank God that things are getting back to normal.”
Click here for more information on how you can purchase tickets for Saturday's PRIDE block party.