HELENA - The 8th annual Montana Pride event kicked off on Sunday with a drag brunch featuring performers across Montana from Billings to Bozeman, Missoula and Great Falls.
Julie Yard has been a drag performer for seven years with the Great Falls troop Mister Sisters and says Pride is about celebrating who you are with the other members of the LGBTQ+ community.
"It's just amazing. It's a celebration of who we are and where we come from and the fact that we're here and that we can celebrate so openly and just have a sense of community in a way that you just don't any other month or week or day of the year," said Julie Yard.
Yard was first a spectator at drag shows in New York City, but once she moved to Montana, she joined the Electric City troop. "I reached out just kind of out of the blue and said, hey, I think I want to get into this. Can someone help me with my makeup and performing style and all of that."
And performing brings her the most joy.
"All of your inhibitions, you just let them go, it is very freeing, and it's just such a fun time. It is a unique blend of energy that you get from the performers from the audience, and it just yeah, it allows you to let go and be free," said Julie Yard.
Montana Pride — formerly known as Big Sky Pride — is happy to be back in the Capital City and celebrate Pride in July.
"We're super excited about all the prides that have happened across the state. This is the last Pride of the year, and it's super fun. It's going to be massive fun this week," said Kev Hamm, Director of Montana Pride.
Complete list of Pride events:
Monday, July 18
- Queer Game Night at Headwaters Crafthouse at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, July 19
- Myrna Loy Live Poetry Showcase at 7:30 p.m.
- Grandstreet Theatre Camp Instructors Cabaret at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 20
- Drag Trivia at Lewis and Clark Brewery at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 21
- Prickly Pear Land Trust Summer Block Party at Downtown Walking Mall at 5 p.m.
- Perfectly Queer Comedy Show at The Holter Museum at 6:30 p.m.
Friday, July 22
- Montana Pride CLE from 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
- Queer Ecology at Lewis and Clark Library at 3 p.m.
- Welcome to Town at the Downtown Walking Mall from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
- Downdogs and Doobies at Sleeping Giant Gardens at 4:20 p.m.
- Pride Hike and Picnic at Mount Helena Trailhead at 4:30 p.m.
- Pride Shabbat at Gulch Distillery at 5 p.m.
- Navigating the Queerverse at Lewis and Clark Libary at 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
- Potty Mouth Pottery at Painted Pot
- Tacos and Tassels Burlesque Show at Space One11 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- Queer Youth Prom at Holter Museum from 8 p.m. - midnight
- Shadow House Extravaganza at Rialto Bar, Western Bar, Miller's Crossing and the Windbag Saloon at 10 p.m.
Saturday, July 23
- 2022 Montana Pride Parade at 11 a.m. at the Gulch
- Montana Pride Rally at Anchor Park at 12 p.m.
- Drag Story Hour at Montana Book Co.
- Montana Bears and Brews at Rialto Bar at 2 p.m.
- DIY Pride Shirts 4 Kids at Holter Museum at 2 p.m.
- Once More with Glitz at Downtown Walking Mall at 7 p.m. until sunset
- Scatter and Groove at Rialto Bar, Miller's Crossing, Rialto Bar and the Windbag Saloon after downtown street dance
- Queer Rodeo Dance Party at the Western
Sunday, July 24
- Bottoms Up Downdogs and Draughts for Pride at Ten Mile Creek Brewery at 11 a.m.
- Recovery Caesar Bar at Western Bar
- Recovery Brunch on the Walking Mall