The annual SOPride celebration and parade returns to Ashland this weekend, Oct. 7 to 9, following a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. Southern Oregon University and the Social Justice and Equity Center invite all SOU students, staff, faculty and their families to march together in the SOU parade entry.
Showing up for queer and trans students, employees, and community members is a longstanding campus tradition, and SOU typically has one of the largest entries in the parade. The SOPride parade starts at noon on Saturday, and will proceed from Union Street, across from Safeway, through downtown Ashland and the Plaza, culminating at the Lithia Park bandshell for the SOPride Festival.
Those who wish to march with SOU can meet at the Stevenson Union courtyard at 9:30 a.m., leaving SOU by 10 a.m. to walk to the parade start – or meet up at the parade start on Union Street at 11 a.m.
SOU’s Social Justice and Equity Center is hosting a sign-making and decorating event from 12:30 to 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, in Room 308 of the Stevenson Union. Drop by during that time and make a sign or two for yourself or others to show your pride! Pizza, snacks and sign-making supplies will be provided.
For more information or to request mobility support to participate in SOU’s parade entry, please visit tinyurl.com/sousopride.
SOPride 2022 kicks off with a SOPride Crawl beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday and running all weekend. Participating queer-friendly businesses will host Pride-themed events including music, karaoke, drag shows and cabaret.
SOPride was founded in 2009 by Ashland City Councilor Gina DuQuenne. SOPride hosts the southern Oregon celebration in October, in recognition of National Coming Out Day – an annual celebration on Oct. 11. The first annual Ashland SOPride was held on Oct. 10, 2010, with over 500 participants in the march and hundreds more enjoying from the sidewalks. SOPride continues to celebrate the magnificent diversity of the southern Oregon community and has an outstanding leadership team that is composed of many SOU student leaders.
For more information about SOPride and all of the events during SOPride weekend, visit sopride.org.