BOISE – A Pride Festival in Boise set for this weekend is sparking controversy due to a part of the event featuring performances by children “in drag” on stage. The event will take place at the 2-acre Cecil D. Andrus Park, across the street from the Idaho Capitol Building.
According to the three-day event schedule, a “Drag Kids” event is planned for this Sunday. “You have watched Kings and Queens and now it’s time to see the Kids,” says the festival’s promotional materials. “A drag show like none other” featuring kids ages 11 to 18 that “are ready to bring it all to the Boise Pride Festival Stage,” says the materials.
The Daily Caller, a nationwide conservative-leaning news website, posted a story on Tuesday about the event titled “Corporate America Sponsors Festival Featuring Child Drag Queens.” The Daily Caller article specifically points to the corporations sponsoring the event, including Target, Wells Fargo, Blue Cross of Idaho, Columbia Bank, AT&T, and Macy’s, among many others.
The Idaho Freedom Foundation took issue with the tax dollars spent for the event in a Wednesday post on their website. “The City of Boise is just one of several public entities that are donating taxpayer dollars to fund this event. Other government sponsors include the University of Idaho College of Law, the College of Western Idaho, and Central District Health. Of course, using taxpayer money to fund such causes isn’t a new phenomenon; the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare spent more than $100,000 on pride events in 2021,” says the website.
Local government officials have offered their support to the festival. “Boise’s Pride does not end with the festival – it is an ongoing opportunity to support this community throughout the year,” wrote Boise Mayor Lauren McLean in a welcome letter.
“The Pride Festival is marking its 33rd Anniversary in Boise and provides the Treasure Valley with an opportunity to recognize diversity through events and activities to bring the community together,’ says a proclamation from Meridian Mayor Robert Simison.