After a June 10 event was cited for violations, organizers were denied permits to hold an event during the upcoming citywide Pride weekend. Among the listed violations: displaying about 60 “No Parking” signs along Broadway without permission, placing eight or more port-a-potties on a Broadway sidewalk and attempting to close the street's southbound lanes.
The organizer of a Pride Festival preview event that ran into trouble with authorities earlier this month has been denied permits for the “Capitol Hill Pride Festival — Bite of Pride” event during the traditional Pride Festival at the end of the month.
In February, event organizers Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson proposed that the ninth year of Capitol Hill Pride be held earlier in June — not on the usual weekend later in the month in which citywide Pride events are held — in order to also celebrate the National Equality March happening in cities across the country on June 11. The pair applied for permits for “Capitol Hill Pride Festival — March & Rally” on June 10.
The idea got mixed reactions, especially from Broadway business owners, who usually prepare for the citywide Pride weekend to be the busiest of the year, said Sierra Hansen, executive director of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce (COC). The COC supports the Broadway Business Improvement Area, whose members favored keeping Capitol Hill Pride on the originally scheduled date of June 24, Hansen added.
After discussion with businesses in the area, LeFevre agreed to plan a second Pride event on Broadway on June 24 that highlighted Broadway’s restaurants and retail spaces during citywide pride weekend, called “Capitol Hill Pride Festival — Bite of Pride.”
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In March, LeFevre learned her permits for the June 10 event did not grant the street closure, stage space or marching space she requested. She was also told there would be no street closures for tables, vendor booths or portable toilets and that the event could span from 9 a.m. to noon. The permit also outlined that organizers could not “control vehicular or pedestrian traffic.” She was granted sidewalk access.
When she arrived to set up the event the morning of June 10, LeFevre ran into problems with the location of the stage and where participants could stand to watch events, she said.
She was cited for violations, include displaying about 60 “No Parking” signs along Broadway without permission, placing eight or more port-a-potties on the Broadway sidewalk, attempting to close the southbound lanes of Broadway, allowing event participants to place tents on the west sidewalk of Broadway and setting up a 12-foot-by-12-foot stage on the west sidewalk of Broadway without permission, the city-issued statement says.
The Capitol Hill Times reported that an elderly woman was hospitalized after she tripped over unauthorized electrical cords and fell.
The violations were cited in the city’s decision to deny permits to LeFevre for the “Bite of Pride” event.
“We’re shocked, we’re flabbergasted,” LeFevre said. She believes the city hasn’t wanted either event to succeed since she suggested moving the neighborhood’s Pride event to an earlier weekend.
Citywide Seattle PrideFest director Egan Orion is applying to take over the organization of Capitol Hill Pride on June 24.
“There is a process with the city, but I’m putting my name in,” he said. “We’re best situated to take over this event.”
PrideFest events were already scheduled throughout the city at Cal Anderson Park and a march through downtown on June 24. Orion said there will have to be a redistribution of resources to Capitol Hill, but any vendors who signed up with “Bite of Pride” can register for free with the event, with proof of receipt as a vendor from LeFevre.
The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and PrideFest will relay more details later.