We are saddened to announce that boothing and street use for the “Capitol Hill Pride Festival – Bite of Pride” for Sat. June 24th has been cancelled. The City of Seattle in a June 15th letter has denied the community the use of the five blocks Broadway and on June 19th upheld the denial on our appeal.
Although we will continue “Capitol Hill Pride – Bite of Pride” as an area wide promotion for Capitol Hill, it will be on our website ONLY for not only Pride weekend but for the month of Pride.
As other Pride events in the area are continuing, we encourage restaurants and businesses to decorate and help the community celebrate Pride.
If you have any questions, please e-mail us directly.
We are saddened to announce the City of Seattle has denied Capitol Hill Pride Festival’s appeal for street use for the 2017 ninth annual event. For reasons we assert were responsible safety precautions in setting up safety cones and as minor as scheduling porta potties for the June 10th March & Rally, the City has deemed as non-compliance and justifyable reasons to cancel the long standing Capitol Hill Pride Festival event for June 24th.
Obviously, we do not agree with the city and will be filing complaints as we feel ourselves, the vendors, and the community has been denied a traditional free speech event and place of assembly.
Capitol Hill Pride as its own non-profit will still be developing this year and will continue “Capitol Hill Pride – Bite of Pride” as an area wide promotion for not only Pride weekend but for the month of Pride.
Regardless of street use we know Pride never left Capitol Hill and hope visitors of all backgrounds can come out to celebrate, support the non-profits, restaurants and bars, small businesses and community in the heart of the LGBT community for Pride and all year long.
Sincerely, with Pride
The “Capitol Hill Pride Festival – Bite of Pride” is announcing its continued promotion of the Capitol Hill wide event as online only community promotion for not only June 24th but for the month of Pride while our appeal for the annual street use is pending with the City of Seattle.
As the nine year annual event has
grown to become the Northwest’s largest Pride street festival and Capitol
Hill’s largest event after a two year absence of events in 2007 and 2008, we
are dedicated to promoting what is recognized as a Constitutionally protected annual
event for Pride weekend supporting the local community.
The Capitol Hill wide promotion underlines the “Bite of Pride” is not only for restaurants but includes businesses, non-profits and artists for Sat. June 24, 2017 thru the month of June.
Patterned after the “Bite on Broadway” in 2012 and 2013 as
a local promotion, the “Capitol Hill
Pride Festival - Bite of Pride” is offering vendors a year - long listing
and online ad for Pride specials.
If you are not currently registered for the June 24th event, please register your business, restaurant, non-profit or Artist website with the $50 registration fee on the Registration page.
We encourage restaurants and businesses to decorate for Pride weekend and sponsor an LGBTQ non-profit or artist with their advertisement listing.
Currently the Capitol Hill Pride Festival -“Bite of Pride” has 70 businesses registered on Capitol Hill and the festival website receives thousands of hits all year long and is expected to receive 50,000 visitors to the area for Pride weekend.
The Capitol Hill Pride Festival March & Rally and Capitol Hill Pride Festival – Bite of Pride is stewarded by the forming Capitol Hill Pride non-profit and we underline is not regulated by the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce or any other commercial entity.
If you have any questions or concerns we ask vendors and businesses to please contact us directly.
Sincerely,Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson
Capitol Hill Pride Festival March & Rally, Bite of Pride
Capitol Hill Pride
Statement from Directors:
It should go without saying we were extremely disappointed that the Capitol Hill Pride’s Rally portion of the day long annual event was shut down on June 10th and now the permit for the Capitol Hill Pride Festival – Bite of Pride for June 24th has been denied with what we feel is no just cause. The event is on hold as we file our appeal.
While we apologize to the non-profits, artists, and businesses inconvenienced, we maintain we have been a responsible stewarding organization for the past ten years developing what is the NW’s largest Pride street festival.
It was our understanding that the city’s agreement with us weeks ago to a free speech artist's and non-profit booths for June 10th included the long standing five blocks on Broadway. On June 1st we were shocked to read the event had been regulated to two motorcycle and a small car parking space and restricted to two and a half hours and at the time believed this pertained to the march segment only. As marches require separate applications we believed we would receive a separate permit for the rally portion of the day, which is, why we responsibly proceeded to set up “no parking” signs and porta potties for our scheduled artists and speakers. We hardly find this a reason to deny us further permits. The permit issued just ten days before the annual event and blindsided us without giving us what we feel was any recourse. SDOT never met with the Capitol Hill Pride March & Rally Directors to discuss this drastic change, and to explain why they redrew our map or inform us until the last minute they were cancelling the entirety of boothing and staging of the annual event.
We find SDOT’s designation of the parking spot area in front of a closed espresso stand irresponsible and the statement that attendees would have to stand on the sidewalk to see the stage grossly unfair as well as unsafe as the permit did not allow for street closure.
We also understood the meaning of “expressive activity” to include a safe speaker format, non-profits and artists and their booths – the same format we have had for the past nine years and there was no indication to assume otherwise. We were looking forward to hearing speakers, musicians as well as six Mayoral and Seattle City Council Candidates.
Regarding signage, it is the organizer’s responsibility per City of Seattle’s own policy to responsibly schedule and put up “no parking” signs and traffic control barricades. We believe even scheduling porta potties as well as requesting additional traffic control for safety for the permitted stage set up on the street is not just cause for denial of future permits and runs counter to the city’s commitment to provide a safe community area.
Of note, while it is unfortunate an elderly lady fell on the sidewalk and was hurt it should be noted she had fallen approximately a yard from the raised cord protector guard and it is unfair to attribute her fall to this item given the condition of the sidewalk in the area and attempts to place blame on the event. As well as an initial miss placement of porta potties by a contractor should not be just cause to deny a permit to an annual event.
In April, we moved the date of the Capitol Hill Pride Festival to June 10th from June 24th to structurally accommodate the national Equality March for Unity and Pride which was held in over 100 cities around the nation. There was no indication that the 10th along with the national march would be any less successful than the 24th other than causing schedule inconvenience as cities across the nation celebrate Pride all during Pride month. Unfortunately, due to some businesses and Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce complaints about June 10th not being convenient, the city and SDOT used this as their main excuse to restrict and eliminate the day long annual event.
The Directors of the festival Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson both identify with the Bi-Community and have long been organizers of events on the Capitol Hill as well as historians in the area. Charlette was Vice-President of the Capitol Hill Community Council founding the festival and still contributes to the Seattle PI’s Capitol Hill Neighborhood Blog. Philip has been a contract researcher for President Barack Obama’s history here in Seattle and Capitol Hill.
On June 6th, we issued a notice to our vendors before the event of this permit restriction while we awaited a request from Scott Kubly of SDOT on what we considered a gross oversight and today we are issuing this statement as we attempt to work with the city and other community groups to go forth with what should be the ninth annual Capitol Hill Pride Festival. For now the event is on hold and we hope businesses and visitors can see through all the discourse, put aside their differences and come together and celebrate Pride as our community.
Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson
Directors, Capitol Hill Pride Festival March & Rally, Bite of Pride
Capitol Hill Pride