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Pride festivities coming to Canyon County for the first time

Nampa's Lakeview Park will be the venue for the first ever Pride Festival in the 2C
Posted at 3:07 PM, Jun 07, 2024

NAMPA, Idaho — Canyon County will have have its first ever Pride Festival at Lakeview Park in Nampa.

  • In neighboring Boise, the Pride presence is well established celebrating its 35th year in 2024.
  • Organizers tell me Nampa Police and the Nampa Parks and Rec departments have been phenomenal to work with.
  • Canyon County Pride is Sunday, June 9 from 1pm to 4pm.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

Lakeview Park in Nampa will be the venue for the first ever pride celebration in Canyon County on Sunday.

"I hope that it is a fun, safe, enjoyable experience for everyone. I hope that people can come and learn that the queer community is welcoming and all-inclusive," said Canyon County Pride organizer Van Knapp.

In neighboring Boise, the Pride presence is well established celebrating its 35th year in 2024.

Canyon County Pride organizer Tom Wheeler has been an organizer of Boise's pride celebrations -- and *other Idaho celebrations and is excited to expand it to Nampa, but it's come with coordination efforts not faced at other events.

"In Ada County and Ketchum we were able to focus on celebrating the diversity of our community without having to be as concerned about private security, temporary fencing, police presence, so it's a totally different environment but we were expecting it unfortunately," admits Wheeler.

They tell me that Nampa Police and the Nampa Parks and Rec departments have been phenomenal to work with.

"The Nampa Police Department has been surprisingly not only only meeting our needs but giving us suggestions and exceeding the original plan that we had and the City department has been nothing short of amazing," Knapp acknowledged.

"Contrary to statements made by the mayor's office, the Nampa Police Department and Parks and Rec have been incredible allies through this process. They made it very aware from the beginning that their role is to maintain safety for the community and we're part of the community," said Wheeler.

Those statements from the mayor's office came in the form of a press release after they and the city council received requests from residents to cancel the event.

The city's legal counsel advised the city that the event's first amendment rights must be recognized although it doesn't reflect Mayor Kling's or the City Council's personal convictions.

City of Nampa press release (4/28/24)

"Pride to me, has evolved over this process of creating this amazing festival. As a queer person growing up in a really small religious community in Idaho, Pride was something that I had to develop and it was really really difficult," Knapp recalled.

And for lifelong Nampa resident Scott Mocaby, he's feeling seen for the first time within his own city.

"I feel seen, I feel like someone's actually taking, like, giving me recognition."