History of NAPA
We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby !
The Northern Arizona Pride Association planted its roots in Flagstaff, Arizona in the winter of 1996. The inaugural Pride in the Pines festival was held that summer at Ft. Tuthill County Fairgrounds. With 300 in attendance, the 1st Annual Pride in the Pines encouraged a new wave of diversity in small town Arizona, paving the way for the GLBT community in Flagstaff.
The celebration moved into Wheeler Park in front of City Hall the following year, solidifying the importance and power that this one-day of pride and unity could create in Flagstaff. After the 2nd Annual Pride in the Pines, NAPA board members also established relationships with larger, regional GLBT pride organizations, such as San Francisco Pride, LA Pride, and InterPride. In 1999, NAPA secured its first grant from the City of Flagstaff Arts & Science Commission and attained nonprofit status from the State of Arizona. In 2000, Pride in the Pines received official city recognition with the first proclamation declaring that day as Pride in the Pines Day in Flagstaff by then Mayor Joe Donaldson, a proclamation that continues to this day.
The 2002 Pride in the Pines saw record attendance and enjoyed the first festival headliner, Erin Hamilton. NAPA has continued this tradition, with recent headliners that includes Jodi Watley, CeCe Peniston, and Chaka Chan. NAPA continues to organize successful Pride in the Pines festivals, as well as holding benefits throughout the year for area AIDS advocacy organizations and GLBT youth groups.
NAPA has made great strides to bring GLBT issues into the forefront of Flagstaff. From our beginning of 300 attendees at a county fairground on the outskirts of town to our current festival of several thousand next to City Hall, the Northern Arizona Pride Association’s Pride in the Pines is now one of the largest and well-attended events in the City of Flagstaff, Arizona. Last year’s 2010 Festival, NAPA received the Key to the City for its accomplishments of insuring its legacy as an organization in promoting acceptance and understanding.
Northern Arizona Pride Association is delighted to be able to celebrate its 15th years of Pride in the Pines and our 14th year in downtownWheeler Park.
-Pride Movement History-
Each year in June the GLBTQ community celebrate Gay Pride Month. The history of Gay Pride Celebrations began in 1969 in Greenwich Village, New York City at the Stonewall Inn.
At the time, it was common all over the United States for police to raid gay and lesbian bars. While they were purportedly looking for liquor law or other violations, patrons were arrested and dragged off to jail with no legitimate charges. The names of those arrested were often published in the papers and many of those people were fired from their jobs as a result.
In 1969 bars were about the only places gays and lesbians could gather in public. Most times, when the police would raid a bar, the gay and lesbian clientele would try to slip out the back or cower in the corners.
The Stonewall Riots
But on the night of June 27th in 1969 something different happened. When police raided the Stonewall Inn, the butch lesbians and drag queens fought back. The bar patrons threw bottles and rocks at the police. They chanted, “Gay Power!” For several nights crowds grew outside the Stonewall Inn.
Word quickly spread around the country about the gay people who fought back against the police. The event became known as the Stonewall Rebellion or Stonewall Riots. Although there was a small gay rights movement around the country prior to Stonewall, after 1969 the movement changed.
The 1960s was a time of revolution. The Civil Rights Movement was in full swing and people took to the streets to protest the war in Vietnam. It was only a matter of time before gays and lesbians stood up for their rights as well.
Ever since, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people celebrate pride and call for basic civil rights by commemorating Stonewall. In New York City they march on the last Saturday in June. Across the US and all over the world, gays and lesbians remember the brave men and women of Stonewall every June in Gay Pride celebrations.