Photos by Loren Holmes | Story by Eric Adams

Alaska PrideFest culminated Saturday morning with the annual parade through downtown Anchorage. The parade was a poignant one after a challenging year for the queer community in Alaska's largest city.

Last year's parade was canceled after a city public health department worker was accidentally run over just as the parade began -- an accident that killed him and cast a pallor over what's typically one of the most festive weekends of the year in Anchorage.

This year also saw Anchorage's GLBT community and its allies organize and rally around Proposition 5, a contentious equal-rights municipal ballot measure that was defeated in April.

These and other challenges were perhaps catalyst for the heightened sense of community and camaraderie that accompanied this year's parade and subsequent festival, Saturday afternoon, at the Delaney Park Strip downtown. Several community groups, nonprofits and businesses took part in the parade, with hundreds in attendance.

The 2012 Alaska PrideFest parade theme was "Celebrating Diversity," and the parade's grand marshal was Trevor Storrs, executive director of the Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association (Four A's) and a very public face for the Anchorage GLBT community. Storrs was the primary spokesperson for the coalition of community groups and local businesses that endorsed Proposition 5.

Annual PrideFest events formally conclude on Sunday with religious services at a nondenominational church in Midtown Anchorage and a barbecue at the state's best-known gay hangout, Mad Myrna's:

1 p.m. Pride Ecumenical Service - St. Mary's Episcopal Church (2222 E. Tudor Rd., Anchorage)

  • Come celebrate at a GLBT-friendly church where all means all. Free event. All ages.

4 p.m. Wind-up BBQ - Mad Myrna's, downtown Anchorage

  • Myrna's is providing all the fixins, salad included. Bring your meat or veggie burger for the grill. Free event. 21+