About NWA Pride
Northwest Arkansas Pride has added color and splash to the Ozarks since 2007. With now over 20,000 participants and spectators, this is Arkansas' largest LGBTQ pride celebration!
The first Pride Parade rolled down Dickson Street in 2004, but groups of local citizens organized rallies, marches, picnics, and celebrations to unite the LGBTQ community and promote acceptance for years – all the way back to the 1975 Miss Gay Fayetteville Arkansas America pageant hosted at George's Majestic Lounge.
Ken Boyle, Joney Harper, and Norman Hadley founded NWA Pride, Inc. in 2007 to formally operate an annual parade and rally while various organizations and groups continued to organize smaller events to round out the parade weekend.
Pride-related events in Northwest Arkansas soon dominated an entire month with the NWA Center for Equality coordinating programming from 2007-2014. Regular events included the All Out June Pride Festival, White Party-Northwest Arkansas, Dickson Street Divas Bingo, the Mister & Miss NWA Gay Pride Pageant, the Pride Picnic, the Pride Pub Crawl, and many others.
In 2015, NWA Pride, Inc. merged with the NWA Center for Equality to better serve the growing LGBTQ community with a unified vision. The merger provided an opportunity to better coordinate resources and bring cohesiveness to signature events and tourist attractions. The two organizations became Northwest Arkansas Equality, Inc., and Susan Hartman was hired as the first paid staff member to manage the operations, with Kate Johnson, Hannah Withers, and Richard Gathright directing the activities and vision of NWA Pride in recent years.
Northwest Arkansas Pride has grown to become one of Fayetteville’s signature weekends. With consistent financial support from local and national businesses, the Fayetteville Advertising & Promotions Commission, and Mayor Lioneld Jordan issuing a mayoral proclamation every year since his election in 2009. In just over a decade, NWA Pride has grown from 200 brave participants and spectators into a multi-day calendar of events serving more than 20,000 residents and tourists and has the honor of being Fayetteville's second-largest event, and Arkansas’ largest LGBTQ Pride celebration.
Grand Marshals & Honorees
There are no grand marshals of record prior to 2007.