▶️ ‘It means a lot to me’: LGBTQ community celebrates Winter PrideFest


Winter PrideFest is continuing across Central Oregon through the weekend. The festivities range from live DJ’s, free Nordic skiing, free snowshoeing, alpine ski meetups, cornhole and various snacks, including rainbow snow cones. 

Aside from the fun, the LGBTQ community is grateful for a shared space to enjoy Mt. Bachelor. 

“It’s amazing, I mean I never got to do these as a kid with people that I felt like were really apart of my community so this is a great event to meet new people,” said Kevin Rohde, a member of the LGBTQ community. 

Hitting the slopes and shredding the gnar, together.

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Director of Sales for Mount Bachelor, Reese Thedford, says the event started in 2018 and offers a rainbow-filled welcome to those who may have felt excluded from snow sports in the past.

“With open arms we’ve been wanting to throw an all inclusivity aspect that was visual and thought that this community and the whole community and the mountain community especially needs more events like this,” said Thedford.

We spoke with a straight snowboarder at the mountain who said he’s proud to share the pow.

“It’s a pleasant surprise,” said Tanner Van Valey. “I’m all for the festival.”

That kind of solidarity makes for a great time.

“I live in Bend. So it’s cool to share the mountain with other LGBT folks,” said Justin Wang, an LGBTQ skier. “Skiing is one of my favorite things to do, and to share with my community and people I really care about, means a lot to me.”

Most pride events have a parade, but this one has a Ride for Pride which will start at 2:00 PM on Saturday at the top of Little Pine Lift. 

And there are more events on and off the mountain through Sunday. You can find all the details at the Winter PrideFest website.


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