Permitting may impact plans for Tucson Pride

Published: Jun. 2, 2021 at 10:28 PM MST|Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 10:57 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Plans for the Tucson Pride Parade and Festival are on pause due to permitting.

Each fall, the LGBTQ+ advocacy group holds an event at Reid Park with thousands of people in attendance.

“Last year, we did a virtual celebration for pride,” said Sam Cloud, president of Tucson Pride. “It’s just kind of where we were as a city, as an organization.”

With low COVID-19 cases, though, the festival is coming back. Organizers have reserved the north side of Reid Park for October 2, 2021.

“Our last live festival we had more than 6,000 [people],” Cloud said.

Which is proving to be a challenge. Right now, the City of Tucson is not issuing special permits for events larger than 250 people.

It may seem confusing with the University of Arizona (which is within city limits) allowing several hundred fans at games.

However, a City of Tucson spokesperson explained the restrictions only apply to city parks and property. KOLD News 13 also learned the cap will likely be lifted soon, as Tucson catches up to the latest health guidance from Pima County, the State of Arizona, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“In the meantime, while we are waiting to see if those restrictions lift, we are considering alternatives,” said Cloud. “We are considering alternative venues that are in the county. In addition, we have also got an option to do a pride weekend where multiple venues around Tucson host different pride events; different themes, different age-targeted groups. We are going to make sure pride lives on.”

Pima County no longer has a cap on gatherings for outdoor events.

“Either way, we are super excited to be able to come back in person and celebrate pride as a community again,” Cloud said.

Once a festival location is secured, parade planning can begin and tickets will go on sale.

Copyright 2021 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.