Cedar Valley Pridefest Postpones to 2021 Amid Coronavirus Uncertainty
Online Content & Sponsor-Sourced Support Planned
WATERLOO, IA — JUNE 1, 2020 — Cedar Valley Pridefest, the two-day LGBTQ celebration of inclusion and diversity held annually in Downtown Waterloo, was planning their 9th year for August 28th & 29th, 2020. Due to uncertainty surrounding the future of large group gatherings in Iowa from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Cedar Valley Pride Board has postponed this year’s event to August 27th & 28th, 2021 for the safety of the community, performers, volunteers and exhibitors. In addition, the move aims to reduce the financial risk for sponsors, performers, exhibitors, and the organization and to ensure the continued success of the event going forward.
“CVP strives to put on a high quality event that meets our mission and demonstrates the power of community. Due to the uncertainty about our ability to safely hold a large event, like ours, we can’t effectively plan the quality of event we seek,” said Dave Deeds, president of Cedar Valley Pride. “Given current guidance, we can only imagine the difficulty of having pride with everyone standing six-feet apart. Like other organizations, our volunteer-run event wants to ensure all of our more than 6,500 attendees, vendors and sponsors can come together in the way we’ve all come to expect from Cedar Valley Pride.”
While the standard Pridefest that has been put on in Waterloo for years will not be happening this year, Cedar Valley Pride intends to keep highlighting LGBTQ inclusivity and diversity and bringing our community together through other ways. The group is working with educational and entertainment partners to provide online content that the community can watch and participate in safely from their homes. “We are working out the details of how this will come together, but we envision that we’ll be able to provide similar kinds of educational content people have come to expect at Pridefest each year. We’re working with partners to ensure a high level of quality as well as very relevant content for our current situation,” said Chris Schwartz, Educational Chair for Cedar Valley Pride.
Cedar Valley Pride’s popular art exhibition will also continue but take another form for 2020 says Miranda Canfield, Arts & Finance Chair for Cedar Valley Pride. “We’re very lucky to have Hawkeye Community College as a committed partner in this project. While we won’t have the traditional in-person gallery show, we will be announcing details for our 2020 art project “Pride Inside,” in the coming weeks. We’re working with Hawkeye to engage their students and use technology for everything from submissions to ways to display artwork online to create a collaborative art project that melds together art and education with pieces from artists of all ages and skill level.”
While part of the 2020 entertainment line-up had been planned but not announced, many of those acts have already agreed to participate in 2021. Notably, the popular group OneUp Duo who performed in 2019 was slated to return, which would have been announced historically during the My Waterloo Days celebration in early June, which has also been cancelled. OneUp Duo is a pop/soul vocal combo comprised of husbands Adam and Jerome Bell-Bastien. The Duo rose to fame as the first same-sex couple duo contestant on Season 15 of NBC’s The Voice. They have recorded a special video message and song especially for the Cedar Valley Pride audience that is available at cedarvalleypride.com.
Community support and participation are some of the biggest elements of Cedar Valley Pridefest and more than 100 local businesses and organizations sponsor, exhibit or participate in the event in some fashion. “We couldn’t put on this event without the support of local businesses. Their desire to be part of the event and their growing support over the last 8 years is really what keeps us going,” said Brent Buhr, Vendor Chair for Cedar Valley Pride. “We’re looking for ways to show them support as well as to help those in our community who might be vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic .” In an effort to help during this tough time, Cedar Valley Pride has plans to purchase more than $1,500.00 worth of services from past sponsors such as SingleSpeed Brewing Co. and their distributor Fahr Beverage, Kings & Queens Club, and Trio SalonSpa / SalonIris. For more ways you can help area businesses who have supported Pridefest, visit cedarvalleypride.com.
“It was a very difficult decision for us to not host a 2020 event here in Waterloo,” said Michelle Hall, Kids Zone and 5K Chair for Cedar Valley Pride. “But in the end, it comes down to doing our part to make sure we’re here for each other when it counts. That’s what Pride represents, people seeing that we have more in common that brings out the best in who we are as a community than what divides us. We hope you all stay safe and we’ll see you online for special content in 2020 and back in Downtown Waterloo on Friday, August 27 and Saturday, August 28, 2021.”
For more information about Cedar Valley Pride, the 2020 and 2021 plans, to watch the special video announcement and song from OneUp Duo and find ways you can get involved to help the community during this time, please visit cedarvalleypride.com.