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Enid Pride parade participants carry colorful flags as they make two trips around Government Springs Park Lake Sept. 22, 2018.

ENID, Okla. — Organizers are seeking volunteers and donors to help stage the 11th annual Enid Pride, set for Sept. 20-21, 2019, in downtown Enid.

Enid Pride, first celebrated in 2009, is billed as a free, family friendly event hosted by Enid LGBTQ Coalition "to not only bring visibility to the diversity in our community, but also to promote unity, understanding, and education in a safe environment that is appropriate for people of all ages," according to an event press release.

Volunteers are needed to help with set-up, to work the event and to help clean up at the end of the day, and donors are needed to help underwrite the cost of the event, according to the press release.

Anyone interested in volunteering can go to https://www.enidlgbtcoalition.org/enid-pride to register online. Volunteers who work at least two hours will be able to purchase an Enid Pride T-shirt at half-price and will receive free entry to the after-party.

Pride weekend will start the evening of Sept. 20 with the "Broadway Backwards" show at 7 p.m. in the Turpin Little Theatre at Gaslight Theatre, 221 N. Independence. The show is offered for a $15 suggested donation. Performers will stage “gender-bent” versions of songs from musicals including “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Into the Woods.”

The Enid Pride 2019 picnic will be noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 21 on the Garfield County Courthouse lawn in downtown Enid. Live music performances, a DJ, the first Mr. & Miss Enid Pride drag pageant, a flag parade, drag queen story hour, live reptile presentations by the Northwestern Oklahoma State University biology department, tables for board and card games, animal adoptions, photo opportunities, face painting and other activities are scheduled for the event.

Organizers have set a new record with 57 vendors already signed up for the event. Vendors will include local artists, nonprofits, food trucks and businesses selling a wide variety of wares.

The Mr. & Miss Enid Pride Pageant contestants will be judged for talent, pride wear and a question-and-answer segment. Registration is limited, and forms are available at https://www.enidlgbtcoalition.org/enid-pride. The pageant will be divided into two segments, starting at 1 p.m. downtown and finishing at 9 p.m. at the after-party. Registration is from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the Enid LGBTQ Coalition booth.

After the downtown picnic, activities will continue at 8 p.m. Sept. 21 at Eventful Events in Oakwood Mall, 4125 W. Garriott. There will be a cash bar, a drag show, dancing and the completion of the Mr. & Miss Enid Pride Pageant and crowning of winners. Entry fee to the after-party is $10 for individuals or $15 for two people, who must be 18 to enter and 21 to drink.

Donations to support Enid Pride may be made at the website or by mailing a check to Enid LGBTQ Coalition, P.O. Box 775, Enid, OK 73702.

For information, email lgbtcoalition@yahoo.com or enidpride@yahoo.com.

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Neal is health, military affairs and religion reporter and columnist for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @jamesnealwriter, and online at jamesrneal.com.
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for James? Send an email to jneal@enidnews.com.

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