Committee Forms to Organize Pride Festival for Next June

By Brandon Hansen / For the Nisqually Valley News
Posted 6/21/22

As Pride Month winds down for 2022, plans have emerged to host a pride festival in Yelm next year.

LaDonna Shea Hockaday, also known as Lady L, has hosted a variety of events at the Yelm …

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Committee Forms to Organize Pride Festival for Next June

Posted

As Pride Month winds down for 2022, plans have emerged to host a pride festival in Yelm next year.

LaDonna Shea Hockaday, also known as Lady L, has hosted a variety of events at the Yelm Community Park for different occasions. This time next June, she wants to celebrate the area’s LGBTQ+ community.

“Pride month is important to see the voices of LGBTQ+ community and to celebrate how far we have come,” Hockaday said. “There are so many kids that get thrown out of their homes when they come out to their parents. We have younger people committing suicide because they don’t feel they are loved. Hate crimes still go on.”

Hockaday said Yelm has not previously had a pride festival and it’s something she wants to see celebrated. 

“I feel that it is needed,” Hockaday said. “It’s necessary for our community as there have been so many in the LGBTQ community that have fought to get where we are at.”

The tentative plan is to have the festival from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on June 10, 2023. There will be  vendors, food trucks, drag queen shows, bands and DJs, along with many booths set up around the park.



Hockaday said a committee has already formed to organize the event. She is also working to set up a nonprofit that would run the several events she has organized in Yelm throughout the year.

A parade is not in the cards for 2023 due to the cost required by the city to block off streets, but Hockaday is entertaining the idea of doing something around the park.

There are currently 13 people who will help organize the event. Hockaday said it will take a lot of preparation to form the event and a board of directors. 

“I’ve lost friends before over hate crimes against gays and lesbians,” Hockaday said. “It breaks my heart that even today in 2022, it still happens. This is about all of us coming together to celebrate pride, love and understanding. Love is love, regardless of who you are.”

Anyone interested in helping with the event or joining the committee can email Hockaday at ladonnashea@icloud.com.

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