Breck Pride: A message that everyone is welcome here in the mountains
Breck Pride Highlights
Below is a few highlights from this week’s Breck Pride festival, running Wednesday through Sunday. For a full list of events, go to BreckPride.com
Today — Welcome Reception: The five-day festival kicks off inside The Village at Breckenridge, 535 S. Main Park Ave., with music, drinks and complimentary appetizers. Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/breck-pride-2018-welcome-reception-tickets-42386324638
Thursday-Saturday — Daily Après Ski Party at The Pioneer Club: This is a daily Après ski event featuring specialty cocktails and on-the-house appetizers at the Hyatt Main Street Station, 505 S. Main St. The party runs from 3-6 p.m. Thursday.
Friday — First Tracks: Hit the slopes from 7:30-7:45 a.m. before anyone else does at Breckenridge Ski Resort’s QuickSilver SuperChair at the base of Peak 9. Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/breck-pride-2018-first-tracks-tickets-42386758937?aff=ebdssbcitybrowse
Friday — DJ Rockstar Aaron at The Maggie: The pink-mohawked DJ hosts a dance party at The Maggie Restaurant from 4-7 p.m. with complimentary drink tickets, food specials and door prizes.
Friday and Saturday — Breck Pride Festival On The Plaza: Live music, drinks, drag performances, colorful vendors and giveaways. The free two-day event is at the base of Peak 9 in The Village Plaza.
Saturday — Color Run Parade: People will don their most festive Breck Pride costumes for an on-mountain Color Run Parade starting at The Overlook Restaurant on Peak 9. The parade heads down the hill at 3:30 p.m. and finishes at The Maggie. Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/breck-pride-2018-color-run-parade-tickets-42387020720
Saturday — Breck Pride Closing Party: DJ Rockstar Aaron will be back for one more night at the Riverwalk Center in downtown Breckenridge. People will be asked to consider making a suggested donation of $10 to the nonprofit organization, One Colorado, at the door.
Source: Breckenridge Ski Resort
Back for its second year, Breck Pride rolls into town today for a five-day, all-inclusive festival jam packed with live music, daily ski parties, gay trivia, drag bingo, a Color Run down the mountain and much more.
Breck Pride is being put on by Breckenridge Ski Resort and the Breckenridge Tourism Office. Guests are expected to start showing up today with the heaviest slate of events Thursday through Saturday. Most are completely free, but participants are being asked to register ahead of time for a number of them. For a full schedule, go to BreckPride.com.
More than anything, Breck Pride is “a week for everyone,” according to planners. It doesn’t matter whether partygoers identify as LGBTQ or straight, skier or snowboarder, beginner or expert, or just want to support their friends and community — everyone is going to be welcome here.
“I think that’s what’s important about it,” said John Pfeiffer, a prominent member of the local real estate community who’s openly gay and serves on the Breck Pride Committee, which helped organize the lineup of events.
Explaining why Breckenridge needs to host its own gay ski week, Pfeiffer referenced similar festivals in Aspen, Telluride, Vail, Steamboat Springs and Park City, Utah, all of which have been ongoing for some time now. Aspen’s gay ski week, for example, dates back more than four decades.
Going on only its second year, Breck Pride might be a little late to the party, but the more important thing, Pfeiffer said, is “sending a message to a large group of people that all are welcome, all are accepted, please come enjoy our community and ski resort.”
Having lived in Breckenridge for 16 years, Pfeiffer said that’s exactly the community he’s come to know here — one that’s open, welcoming and accepting of everyone. “It’s my favorite part of Breckenridge,” he said. “It’s all walks of life, and it’s comfortable.”
He also sees a rapidly growing LGBTQ community in the Denver area and along the Front Range. Many of these individuals are affluent and want second homes in the mountains, he added.
As the president and managing broker of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate, Pfeiffer knows a thing or two about the housing market in mountain communities. Additionally, an event like Breck Pride lets those individuals know they don’t have to go all the way to Vail, Steamboat Springs or Telluride to find what they’re looking for.
The event tells them, “Breckenridge wants us there, we’re welcome there, and we’re safe there,” Pfeiffer said. “They want us to be a part of this community.”
With his and his husband’s names being the first from a legally married gay couple added to the Summit County wedding registry, Pfeiffer is well aware of the national debate surrounding gay rights.
He acknowledged that some people might not support the town and ski resort coming together to host a festival like this, be it based in religious beliefs or in other reasons.
Still, like many others, Pfieffer strongly believes that Breckenridge shouldn’t ever shy away from events like Breck Pride out of fear one group of people might be turned off by the idea and exclude themselves. Doing that only perpetuates cycles of division, he said.
“I do feel that will exist,” he said of negative reactions to Pride Week, “but again that goes back to we as a community need to send a message that all are welcome here.”
Because Pfeiffer has such a prominent position in the local business community, he said that a lot of people have asked him if it concerns him being openly gay in his role.
His response: “It would make me sad if I needed to hide that.”
And Breck Pride isn’t about hiding at all. In fact, if the five-day festival itself isn’t enough, simply wearing a Breck Pride badge will come with “exclusive access to discounts and specials” at shops and restaurants around Breckenridge, according to a news release plugging the events.
Also, a First Tracks event on Friday welcomes Breck Pride guests to hit the mountain an hour before anyone else gets to, an opportunity experience “fresh corduroy” under an early morning light.
In addition to thanking the town and ski resort for hosting Breck Pride, Pfeiffer also wanted to draw attention to the Apres Ski Party from 3-6 p.m. Thursday at Pioneer Club, 505 S. Main St., sponsored by the Breckenridge Tourist office and Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate.
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