Students celebrate diversity in annual Cedar Valley Pridefest


Courtesy Photo

UNI LGBTQ+ members show off their UNI gear and pride merchandise Saturday. Many informational booths were set up for attendees.

Antonia Goodwin, Copy Editor

The Cedar Valley Pridefest, a weekend-long event that included members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community began on Thursday, Aug. 26 and lasted until midnight on Saturday, Aug. 28 in Waterloo.

Attendees participated and watched  educational talks and films, played Drag Queen Bingo, shopped at vendor tents and watched performances on the main-stage.  

The welcoming atmosphere encouraged dancing as well as celebration and acceptance.  Marriah Rupalo, class of 2025, who attended the pridefest on Saturday said, “I feel so loved and accepted.”

The Cedar Valley Pridefest was a space for advocacy, and a source of love and support for the community. Informational booths were set up to support victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Organizations offered information and resources for sexual health, including free and confidential HIV testing. 

    Booths  were set up to advertise the local Methodist church, candidates running for the upcoming city council election, and the Waterloo Public Library which offered stories of acceptance and love as well as library cards. The University of Northern Iowa had an informational booth set up and provided t-shirts and other goodies. Free transportation was also provided to UNI students. Many informational booths were also gathering donations for things like foster care resources, food pantries and LGBTQ+ youth.

The vibrant and accepting atmosphere included free hugs from “supportive moms and dads.”  

The main stage featured music including Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” and “Montero” by Lil Nas X. 

The attendees were welcome to express themselves however they liked with many people advocating for the LGBTQ+ community with their clothes. Notable t-shirts at the event included sayings like “this preacher loves you,” “ally cat” and “no hate in my state.”

Additional support for those in the LGBTQ+ community can be found at