“This event is a reminder of the strength and diversity of our mountain community and that the mountains truly are for everyone to enjoy.” — Drew Jackson, Mt. Bachelor’s Director of Marketing and Communications
By Jen Roberton
LGBTQ Pride is thriving year round–in festivals and events that don’t only happen in June! This is especially apparent in the Oregon resort town of Bend and at Mt. Bachelor. For the second year in a row, folks in the LGBTQ community packed up their snow gear–and most extravagant wigs–to come out to Winter PrideFest, hosted by Out Central Oregon (OCO) and the Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort. In a statement from Mt. Bachelor’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Drew Jackson said,
“Mt. Bachelor is thrilled to partner with Out Central Oregon and provide one of the many venues to celebrate Winter PrideFest.”
The producer of the event was also pleased with the success of the fest, “Turnout for all events throughout Winter PrideFest weekend was well-beyond our expectations.” reported Jamie Nesbitt of OCO. “We are so appreciative of the enthusiasm expressed by the participants and our local business partners that together made the events fun and memorable for everyone.”
There were several events sure to inspire memories at PrideFest. Events were planned over the course of four days beginning with the Welcoming Snocial, which was an early evening meet and greet at Box Factory in Downtown Bend. Wigs–literally–an Ice Breaker, where attendees ice skated on an outdoor rink at the Inn at Seventh Mountain. That Saturday was the Apres Ski main celebration at Mt. Bachelor, sponsored by 10 Barrell, with a live DJ all day at the lodge. Including myself, DJ Jen Roberton! A highlight of the day was Drag Tubing, where queens and kings donned their finest snow drag outfits. That event, hosted by D’Auntie Carol, attracted local media coverage.
For those snowsports fans, there were organized nordic and alpine ski outings. To make it more festive, the music from the lodge was playing on the slopes. After that, the pride weekend continued with a cocktail hour at Dogwood and an evening Apres Ski queer party filled with house music, spun by DJs Chelly Bean and Jason Godfrey. Then, like any pride weekend should, the event closed with a Sunday brunch buffet at Hola.
PrideFest was a community effort. Jackson gave special thanks to the Bend Cultural Tourism Fund, who awarded a grant to OCO to support Winter PrideFest 2019. And looks forward to welcoming past and new participants in 2020. In addition he said, “This event is a reminder of the strength and diversity of our mountain community and that the mountains truly are for everyone to enjoy. Participation more than doubled this year, and we look forward to working with the local LGBTQ+ community to grow this event and welcome everyone to Winter PrideFest in the coming years.”
ProudTimes thanks our colleague Jen Roberton, aka DJ Jen Roberton for taking part in this event. We are looking forward to next year to celebrate Pride in our Pacific Wonderland. You can reach Jen at email@example.com with any stories or events you may have.