Summit County Pride event aims to inspire community connections through free events, drag performance featuring local leaders

Attendees of a Pride Month event, which was held in Silverthorne and hosted by The Pad, paint the pavement around the festivities with a rainbow pattern. This year's event will be held at The Pad on Saturday, June 10.
Nathan Cordero/Look Films

Drag helped transform Bobby Beard’s life since he began performing at the age of 16. 

His shows over the past 25 years have unlocked his skill as an artist, his prowess as a performer and his passion to spread love throughout the communities he visits. Raised in Oklahoma, he’s inspired folks to be themselves, unapologetically, and allowed them to see the love their communities hold. 

“I just want to make somebody smile, make their day a little bit better, give them a minute in the limelight with us,” Beard said. “It’s amazing what it does for people.” 

Beard, who becomes Bebe Adams when he hits the stage, said drag has helped him to build networks of support through the artform, and that’s the exact purpose behind the upcoming drag show and daylong event planned at The Pad in Silverthorne on Saturday, June 10. 

“Our mission is just rooted in creating an inclusive space for everyone,” said Abbey Arlt, director of marketing at The Pad. “When we were brainstorming for how to make Pride 2023 even bigger than our first year, last year, a lot of what we were circling around was allyship and just really being there as a beacon of light for anyone in our community — so they know this is a safe space, so they know this is a welcoming space.”

The event will start with free activities, like a Pride-themed yoga class on the Pad’s lawn and music by DJ Between Realms at 9 a.m. Complimentary coffee and kombucha will follow. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be live music, tie dye booths, face painting, a bounce house and more. 

“We’ve got booths for hair tinsel and glitter beards and DIY flower crowns and pin making — just establishing a space where people can come together and it can be a family-friendly environment,” Arlt said. “And then we ramp things up a little bit in the evening hours and have a full-blown celebration.”

From 7-10 p.m., a ticketed turnabout drag show will cap off the night that will benefit The Trevor Project, a nonprofit that provides 24/7 crisis support services to LGBTQ youth, and Mountain Pride, a nonprofit with goals to embrace, strengthen and celebrate the diversity of LGBTQIA+ communities across the mountains of Colorado. 

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With four community leaders — Keystone Resort Vice President Chris Sorensen, Summit County Sheriff’s Office detentions commander Jake Straw, HighSide Brewing owner David Axelrod and Krystal 93 news director Phil Lindeman — prepared to join Beard and three other professional drag queens on the stage, he hopes the artform gives them the same sense of empowerment that it has brought to his life. 

“(Attendees) are gonna get a great show. … They’re really just gonna feel it’s a lot of love, a lot of high energy. It’s literally a love fest,” Beard said. “It’s just good times.”

Sorensen said Vail Resorts has been focused on diversity, equity and inclusion for a few years now, so when he received an invite, he happily accepted. 

“I felt like, as a local leader, it was important for me to show my support and hopefully help some folks that may not feel comfortable speaking out about their sexuality feel like there’s a safe community here in Summit County that they can hopefully embrace,” Sorensen said “… Hopefully, this event allows them to go: ‘Wow, there are people here, and there is a community.'”

Fostering a culture that promotes acceptance at the resort has brought benefits, Sorensen said, and he hopes “that everyone can show up as their genuine self and not feel like they have to be somebody because that’s what the community or their boss or somebody expects out of them.”

Tickets for the drag show event from 7-10 p.m. are $45 and can be purchased at by searching Pride At The Pad 2023 or by visiting All other events are free.

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