By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – Organizers with Denver PrideFest announced Monday that this year’s celebration will be virtual due to limits on large public gatherings in the city of Denver. The festival, currently in its 45th year, was planned for June 20-21 at Civic Center Park.

“We exhausted every option before making this decision, including postponing the event to later in the summer, which just wasn’t possible,” explained Rex Fuller, CEO of The Center on Colfax. “Although we will miss the energy of an in-person gathering, protecting the safety and health of the attendees, staff and volunteers who make PrideFest so special is paramount. Instead of just cancelling Pride, which means so much to so many, we are working hard to create a variety of opportunities for our community to connect and celebrate virtually.”

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(credit: CBS)

Denver PrideFest typically draws more than 450,000 people over two days making it the largest Pride event in the Rocky Mountain Region and one of the largest in the country. The festival is the largest fundraiser for The Center on Colfax and usually raises around a million dollars. This year they hope to raise $100,000 through the virtual celebration, or about 10 percent of the annual revenue the event generates.

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“While we may not be able to host our traditional PrideFest events, I am urging the community to do what they can to support The Center and all the other organizations that benefit from The Center’s services. It’s crucial to do what we can to ensure that nonprofits can survive this time as well,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

The virtual event will include the following…

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  • Virtual parade: The Center will ask community businesses and organizations to enter fun-filled videos that will be livestreamed as a “parade” with live commentary
  • Virtual 5K: People will enter the 5K, run their race and submit their time independently. The Center will reward their efforts with a t-shirt and other prizes
  • Virtual entertainment: The Center is working to gather online entertainment from performers who were previously scheduled to perform live
  • Virtual dance party: DJs from various clubs around town will present a dance party via Twitch
  • Virtual Exhibitor Page: An online marketplace will allow the public to virtually browse a collection of exhibitors who will sell merchandise online
  • Pride Decorating Contest: The Center will encourage the public to decorate their houses or apartment balconies for pride and share their photos online
  • Pride Job Fair: Job seekers will be able to visit an online job board that will post jobs from LGBT-friendly employers

Chris Spears