Working in Clark County: Saturday in the Park – Vancouver USA Pride – The Columbian

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Just because June is coming to a close, it doesn’t mean Pride celebrations are over. For the group Vancouver USA Pride, Pride month lasts all summer long as members gear up to host their annual LGBTQ+ Pride event Saturday in the Park, hosted in Esther Short Park on July 9.
Jennifer Lanier and her wife, Dustina Haase-Lanier, are board members for Vancouver USA Pride, in charge of coordinating and emceeing live entertainment for the event each year.
Lanier and Haase-Lanier originally got their start by selling raffle tickets during Saturday in the Park back in 2008 as the Mr. and Ms. Gay Pride Vancouver title-holders.
Having a passion for theater and live entertainment, the pair would later go on to join the planning committee in 2015 with the goal of elevating and expanding live entertainment for the event.
Years of passion and hard work have paid off as Lanier now is the second vice president of Vancouver USA Pride.
Working in Clark County, a brief profile of interesting Clark County business owners or a worker in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. Send ideas to Hope Martinez:
[email protected]; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

While Vancouver Pride has been going strong for well over a decade, the COVID-19 pandemic naturally put a damper on recent festivities; the traditional Saturday in the Park event has been on hiatus since 2019.
Determined to not let hard times stop them from celebrating their community, Vancouver Pride hosted special COVID-safe versions of the event for the 2020 and 2021 Pride seasons with virtual Pride events and socially distanced scavenger hunts.
But now the Vancouver Pride team is ecstatic to be back in full swing this year, taking proper precautions to welcome the community back in-person for a fun and safe Saturday in the Park.
“Safety is extremely important to us as we continue to deal with the reality of COVID,” Lanier said. “This year we are masking around the performers and crowd to help put on the safest version of this event possible.”
Lanier and Haase-Lanier are grateful to be able to host such an important event for the local queer community. They provide a much-needed day of relaxation and celebration for people to come together after two lonely and stressful years of being kept apart.
“We really enjoy seeing the community come out on event day,” Lanier said. “It makes everything worth it when folks both young and old come up to us to say this is their first Pride event after coming out. We know that we are not as big as Portland’s Pride celebration, but we are so glad to be accessible to Clark County’s LGBTQ+ families and allies.”
The Vancouver Pride team is optimistic that Saturday in the Park can continue to be a beacon of positivity within the Clark County queer community. The team hopes that it will inspire future generations to get involved in local LGBTQ+ activism to provide the Vancouver area with an even wider variety of Pride events in the future.
Lanier, Haase-Lanier and their fellow Vancouver USA Pride board members are excited to welcome the community back to Saturday in the Park later this summer. All are welcome to attend as they look forward to seeing returning attendees and newcomers alike.
“We are a hometown Pride event that has something for the whole family,” Lanier said. “Bring your outdoor chairs and picnic blankets, pick up something from the farmers market next door, and be prepared to have an afternoon of fun and connection!”
For more information about Saturday in the Park and Vancouver USA Pride visit their website at vanusapride.org.
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