Salt Lake City, Utah – While in previous years before the pandemic, about 50 to 60,000 people would attend the Pride Festival, this year, that number is expected to be even larger. Pride flags decorate bars, restaurants, and stores across Salt Lake City.
“We’ve expanded the grounds. The festival grounds to allow for more restaurants, entry-ways and more space for people to get around, social distance if they will,” said Kevin Randall, the Public Relations Manager for the Utah Pride Center.
“When you get 60 to 75,000 people in one place over a couple of days, and they spend money that’s a significant economic impact to the community,” said Randall.
Sunday of Pride Fest is especially busy, Joey Cannella the owner of Taco Taco, a business located across the street from where the festival said.
“It’s a day that we probably triple what our normal day is,” said Cannella.
According to Cannella, he is a supporter of LGBTQIA+ rights and said he has supported the festival through his business for the last 15 years. “We go to the parade, and we try to participate, and usually we come back here crazy working, and there are hundreds of people that show up at once.”
Throughout the years, Cannella watched the festival grow and said the growth shows progress towards a more inclusive Utah.
“It’s close to my heart, with friends that I have and I think it’s a really great thing to be supportive of. Human rights, people, their choices, letting people be who they want to be and celebrating that.”