Northwest Arkansas Pride

Sponsorship Commitments Due: April 30, 2023

NWA Democrat-Gazette/BEN GOFF @NWABENGOFF
The parade moves down Dickson Street Saturday, June 15, 2019, during the annual Northwest Arkansas Pride Festival  in Fayetteville.

Northwest Arkansas Pride has added color and splash to the Ozarks since 2004. With over 30,000 participants and spectators, this is Arkansas' largest LGBTQ pride celebration!

Our History: Northwest Arkansas' first pride parade rolled down Dickson Street in June 2004. Before the 2004 parade, local citizens organized various celebrations to unite the LGBTQ community and promote acceptance. These included small rallies, marches, picnics, and, as early as 1975, the Miss Gay Fayetteville Arkansas America pageant held at George's Majestic Lounge.

NWA Pride was formed in 2007 to officially operate the Parade, while the NWA Center for Equality organized associated Pride events throughout June. In 2015, the NWA Pride organization and the NWA Center for Equality merged to create Northwest Arkansas Equality. The first paid staff were hired to assist in operating the Parade and Festival, which had grown in scope and attendance over the years. Throughout 2016 and 2017, NWA Equality continued to grow, and our expanded efforts brought our first celebrity, Trixie Mattel, to NWA Pride. Over a decade of countless hours of contributions from passionate staff and volunteers, NWA Equality grew Pride from 200 participants and spectators in 2007 into an annual tradition and Northwest Arkansas' largest Parade.

With new leadership and an expanded NWA Pride committee, 2018 reimagined NWA Pride's operations and events. These changes brought the Pride Festival to Dickson Street, with multiple stages and a dedicated family zone. Further expansion efforts in 2019 grew the Parade to be Fayetteville's largest, at over 2,500 participants and 20,000 attendees. We featured celebrity comedian Fortune Feimster, movie star and TV personality drag queen Shangela, and internationally renowned DJ Joe Ross.

COVID Couldn't Cancel Us: Like most organizations in 2020, COVID-19 disrupted our planned events, but in less than five weeks, 25 volunteers donated over 600 working hours of writing, acting, and editing, and we successfully transformed our live events into a virtual environment. The live-streamed events included a virtual parade consisting of over 60 sponsor, community, and celebrity video submissions; an online happy hour and a live concert produced by Maxine's Tap Room; a digital drag show produced by C4 Nightclub; a virtual version of Glitterville with two celebrity DJs; and the highly praised broadcast of Equality Street, a youth variety show. This production brought together 23,000 people on our broadcasting streams, and many of these events are available on our YouTube channel. Our videos were featured on the 24-hour Global Pride broadcast, where over 57 million people watched submissions from organizations and celebrities worldwide. We represented Arkansas as one of the five U.S. Pride organizations in the Central America timeslot. Due to generous support from our sponsors and the community, the revenue from these virtual events prevented NWA Equality from a budget shortfall. These funds ensured we could continue our HIV testing program and other essential services during the pandemic.

COVID Take Two: As vaccination rates increased and COVID-19 concerns lessened in the spring, and Arkansas' legislature attacked the state's trans residents and families, we found our community needed to gather and protest. We forged ahead with limited events. June 2021 marked the 40th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic, and AIDS activist Ruth Coker Burks served as our Parade's grand marshal, and her story was woven into events throughout June. Trans activist, and the first trans person elected to office in Arkansas, Evelyn Rios Stafford, served as Parade honoree. She led Arkansas' first Trans March, a Fayetteville-planned protest for the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming Arkansans. New York comedian Matteo Lane also entertained audiences during NWA Pride Weekend.

Last Year: The significant growth experienced in 2021, the 2022 NWA Pride Festival and Mainstage expanded to the Ramble lot. The Youth Zone was expanded in the Walton Arts Center to facilitate activities for both children and teens. This year also came with adjustments to the Parade moving to 5:00 p.m., allowing more attendees to participate in activities throughout the day. We celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Miss Gay Arkansas and Miss Gay America pageants, a significant part of Arkansas' Queer history. As Miss Gay Arkansas 1972, Miss Gay America 1973, and owner of Arkansas' and one of the south's largest and longest-running LGBTQ nightclubs, serving as our Grand Marshal, Norman Jones and his stage personality Norma Kristie, touched the lives of thousands of LGBTQ Arkansans and people across the country. Phoenix May and his family, founders of the local LGBTQ youth organization The Equality Crew, served as this year's Parade Honorees and NWA Trans March Captains. The highly anticipated return of Glitterville made a splash, selling out all premium tickets within 24 hours upon the announcement that RuPaul's Drag Race royalty Symone and Maddy Morphosis and New York DJ Joe Pacheco were headlining this event.

This Year: Presented by Walmart & the Tyson Family Foundation, our annual NWA Pride Parade and Festival celebrates 19 years of visibility and action during adversity! For their bravery and courage to stand up against the State's attacks on Arkansas' trans youth, this year we honor the plaintiffs and their families in Brandt et al v. Rutledge et al, the Arkansas Supreme Court Case that will determine if transgender youth may receive gender-affirming physical and mental healthcare. These four families and two pediatricians will jointly serve as this year's Parade Grand Marshals and Trans March Captains.

The NWA Pride Festival's Youth Zone, where 5,000 Queer youth, their allies, and parents are free from judgment and can learn and express themselves, continues to realize creative enhancements through our partnerships with youth-based arts organizations. Lifting the visibility and advocating for the rights of our trans community, the NWA Trans March & Festival moves to Friday night. George's Majestic will again host the highly anticipated Glitterville with RuPaul's Drag Race royalty Daya Betty, Kennedy Davenport, and New York DJ Joe Pacheco headlining this event. Lastly, Hi-Tea, the pool party high up on Mount Sequoyah, returns for 2023 to close out our 19th-anniversary celebration.

With over 30,000 participants, Northwest Arkansas Pride Weekend is the state's largest LGBTQ celebration. We hope you will help us continue celebrating one of Arkansas' most colorful displays of diversity and inclusion!

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Marketing Reach

Sponsors make Northwest Arkansas Pride a reality, allow NWA Equality to produce high-quality events and experiences, and offer large-scale visibility for the LGBTQ community in Northwest Arkansas. Residual income from NWA Pride also fuels the valuable programs, services, and resources NWA Equality provides to our community. 

According to recent figures, 90% of LGBTQ individuals report business participation in LGBTQ events and charities significantly influences their purchasing decisions; 1 out of 4 LGBTQ adults switched products or service providers because they found a competing company that supports LGBTQ causes. 

Through an NWA Pride sponsorship, you can build strong visibility and LGBTQ engagement for your brand and help infuse a sense of belonging to the Queer community. Visibility spans numerous organizations, restaurants, bars, and merchants throughout the Northwest Arkansas region, plus 25,000 event attendees who will recognize your contribution and commitment to the LGBTQ community. Our market reach includes advertising throughout Arkansas, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Joplin, Springfield, Kansas City, and Dallas. Our larger events have attracted California, Georgia, Illinois, and Tennessee attendees. Northwest Arkansas Equality holds a 135,000+ Facebook reach, over 40,000 annual website impressions, and 200,000 Instagram views for NWA Pride. Our 2020 and 2021 virtual events carried over 20,000 viewers during peak streaming times. 

Please help us support and strengthen NWA Pride weekend, LGBTQ visibility, and essential community services through tax-deductible donations while building loyalty and rapport with an increasingly important consumer segment.

Supporting Levels

Parade Entries & Vendor Booths

Register For The Parade & Festival Here

2023 NWA Pride Parade Rates

+ Non-Profit Organizations, Community Groups, Educational AffiliatesFree
+ Political or Legislative Groups & Candidates for Election$100.00
+ For-Profit Businesses, Merchants, ABC Licensed Entities, Wholesalers$150.00


2023 NWA Pride Festival Vendor Rates

+ Alcoholic Beverage Vendors 20% Sales, Required by Licensure

+ Non-Profit Organizations, Community Groups, Educational Affiliates$  75.00
+ Political or Legislative Groups & Candidates for Election$100.00
+ For-Profit Businesses and Merchants$150.00
+ Food Vendors$200.00

 

Media Partner
Bronze Sponsor
Silver Sponsor
Gold Sponsor
Presenting Sponsor

Other Information

  • Northwest Arkansas Equality is happy to negotiate sponsorship terms above $10,000.00.
  • Premium ticket comps or pre-sale access to tickets and other perks to events may be made available for sponsors at various levels. 
  • All contractual sponsorship commitments are due by April 30, 2023. All payments are due by May 31, 2023.
  • Sponsors submitting late commitments may not be eligible for all-level opportunities.
  • Payments received after June 15th are subject to a 10% late fee.
  • Payments in arrears after June 30th are subject to a compounded 10% late fee every 30 days past the due date.
  • Sponsor payments may be made by check, credit card, or wire transfer.
  • Vendor booth payments may only be made by credit card using the online registration system at nwapride.org.

Sponsorship & Sales Contact

Richard Gathright
Director, Northwest Arkansas Pride
Northwest Arkansas Equality, Inc.
info@nwapride.org
479.966.9014