RACE, RELIGION + SOCIAL JUSTICE

New Pride event aims to help businesses that can’t afford booth prices

Apr 6, 2023, 4:15 PM | Updated: 6:50 pm

Entrance to the Church and State event venue in downtown Salt Lake City. The venue will host events during Pride weekend in Utah in 2023 to enable businesses that can't afford the higher entrance fees this year. (Church and State Economic Evangelists)

(Church and State Economic Evangelists)

SALT LAKE CITY — A few businesses are holding their own event during Utah Pride Festival weekend this year. The idea is to help those who can’t afford the increased cost to rent a booth. 

Representatives of the shops inside Church and State, along 400 South in Salt Lake City are putting on the “Pride Show Side Show” Sunday, June 4, 2023.  This year, Pride Festival weekend is June 3 and June 4.  

Owner of Bell Book and Candle, Mariah Fralick, told KSL NewsRadio that she and the owner of Juniper Cafe aren’t trying to compete with Pride. Rather, she said she organized the event because she knows how it feels to not be able to afford booth entry fees.

“A lot of my friends and collaborative businesses are in the queer community and I could just see the impact that that had,” she said.

We have a venue, we have easy access, and we wanted to do this in support and collaboration with our community.”

The cost of a booth at Utah Pride

To get a booth at this year’s Pride festival it will cost between $1,500 to $2,000 for businesses (which can split the space.) It’s cheaper for churches or non-profits. In the past, prices ranged from $400 to $1,500 for a shared booth space.

According to the festival website, the price includes:

  • one ten-foot by ten-foot booth,
  • one ten-foot by ten-foot tent,
  • one ten-foot wall,
  • four weights for ten-foot-by-ten-foot,
  • one eight foot banquet table, and
  • two chairs.

The price for a booth also includes:

  • Salt Lake City permits,
  • Fire Marshal Permits,
  • rental of space from Washington Square, and
  • six festival tickets for Saturday and Sunday.

Operating costs on the rise

The Pride Center says they had no choice but to raise booth prices, because of how much their operating costs have gone up.

“The last thing we wanted to do was put this on to our own community,” said Jonathan Foulk, co-CEO at Utah Pride Center, “but we have no choice. If we didn’t do that we would be paying so much more.”

Foulk cited rental costs like equipment to put on the massive two-day festival, along with paying the city. The festival attracts around 150 thousand people. 

“Our costs have skyrocketed,” he said.

The Pride Center is offering up to 50 scholarships for businesses that can’t afford the costs. That allows them to have their booth prices reduced to a total of $750 which can also be split.  

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