Grays Harbor Pride Festival 2022 set for Sept. 24

After three-year hiatus the festival will return to an in-person format for the community to enjoy

For many individuals, the freedom to be yourself is a big appeal to being an American citizen. Whether it’s expressing any form of religion or advocating for political or cultural movements, there are many ways that make America the renowned melting pot that it is.

For one local Grays Harbor County organization, an opportunity to celebrate a marginalized community is making its return for the first time in three years.

Out & Proud Grays Harbor Coalition (OPGHC) is kicking off the first official weekend of the fall season by hosting Grays Harbor Pride Festival 2022. The event, which symbolizes the recognition of the local LGBTQ community, is set to be held for the ninth time in the Harbor and for the first time in person since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s an amazing opportunity given how secluded everybody has been throughout the pandemic to come out and enjoy what the gay community has to offer,” said Kat Bryant, an executive board member for OPGHC. “We had roughly 1,000 people show up for when we last held the event in 2019. While it’s hard to predict anything, we know the community is excited to have the Pride Festival back so hopefully, we can reach the same numbers.”

The festival, which will hold the theme “Come Sail Away,” will feature a wide array of family activities, food and craft vendors, music and entertainment for people of all ages such as face painting, giveaways, drag queen story time and a ballet dancing troupe. There will also be tours of the tall ship Lady Washington and a family-friendly drag show hosted by Seattle’s Premier Drag King Ceasar Hart.

Steven Puvogel, who serves as the local Pride Community chairman, said with the current financial and physical support of the community, this could be the best pride event the area has had. He’s also excited for the return of Pride Prom, which is set to be held the night before the Pride Festival at Events on Emerson in Hoquiam.

“Pride Prom started a few years ago to kick off the beginning of Pride Festival. It’s an opportunity to allow children to feel safe in a family-friendly environment that they might not get in other places,” Puvogel said. “The event is an all-ages dance that is free, but donations will gladly be accepted for Harbor Include and OPGHC, which go to help kids in the LGBTQ community.”

Puvogel, who also holds a seat on the Hoquiam City Council, said events like Pride Prom and the Pride Festival serve as a way for the community to come together and see different aspects of life that make people feel happy. He also said the goal of OPGHC is to promote advocacy and education to help end sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination.

For people who are interested in attending the Grays Harbor Pride Festival 2022, the event will be held at the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport on Saturday, Sept. 24, starting at 1 p.m. in Aberdeen. The drag show will commence at 7 p.m. For more information people are encouraged to go to