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Colorado Groups Absorb Hate At LGBTQ+ Events To Protect Families

Colorado Groups Absorb Hate At LGBTQ+ Events To Protect Families

DENVER, (CBS4)- Usually at LGBTQ events like Denver’s Pride celebration Eli Bazan is working. Especially if it is a family friendly event like a Drag queen story hour. He’s one of the co-founders of the Parasol Patrol. They are a group of volunteers that tries to separate event attendees from protestors.

(credit: CBS)

“What we do is we use our rainbow umbrella as a shield to block the signs and the faces of protesters,” explained Eli. “We use our ear protection for our little ones.”

They absorb the heckling and name-calling so that kids don’t have to. He says he feels like they are protecting kids from bigotry and hate.

“Quite honestly, some of the stuff they yell at these kids is pretty dramatic,” said Eli.

Despite what they might hear from protestors, the Parasol Patrol doesn’t start trouble. No matter how tense the situation may get.

“We don’t engage with them at all. I’m not here to yell back,” said Eli.  “I’m not going to change their mind. They’re not going to change my mind.”

(credit: CBS)

Eli says taking the high road is getting tougher to do. He follows extremists online to see where they are planning to show up. Recently he has seen an increase in hate.

“The rhetoric in the last 2 months has been the highest I’ve seen in the last 3 years,” he said.

He says take for example the extremist group that was recently caught readying themselves to disrupt a Pride event in Idaho. He saw extremists planning their event online before they were caught.

(credit: CBS)

The Parasol Patrol says they have seen threats made toward Denver’s Pride weekend events as well which is why Eli says he stays ready.

“There will be protesters. Tomorrow at the parade, there will be protesters,” said Eli.

Eli says they report threats of violence to law enforcement because, while they are good at protecting people, there are some things out of their scope of expertise.

(credit: CBS)

“These aren’t ballistic shields. They don’t stop bullets. They’re just umbrellas,” Eli said.

While it can be dangerous to confront extremists, Eli says it’s worth it so that everyone can feel welcome at public events. Especially children and families.

“It helps them understand that they’re not alone. That there are people just like them that that they are loved because of who they are not in spite of who they are,” said Eli.



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Celebrate Colorado Weekend: Free Events This Weekend Showcase The State’s Culture

Celebrate Colorado Weekend: Free Events This Weekend Showcase The State's Culture

DENVER (CBS4) – Celebrate Colorado starts Friday, May 6! It’s a three-day weekend of free and discounted events across the state.

There are more than 200 events planned to showcase Colorado’s arts, culture and businesses in all parts of the state.

The Celebrate Colorado weekend is also meant to thank Coloradans for their resiliency during the pandemic.

“We wanted to make sure that we were getting this out to all four corners of the state and making sure that all cities, counties and communities can participate,” said Danielle Oliveto, Deputy Chief of Staff for the governor’s office. “You may be here in Denver and thinking, ‘I want to go down to Colorado Springs for the weekend,’ or you know, ‘I might wanna go to Lamar.’ They’re doing a kickoff down in Lamar. We’ve got main streets across the whole state. … Maybe you are thinking you want to get somewhere different and see what Colorado has to offer.”

All nine of History Colorado’s community museums will be free for the weekend.

The History Colorado Center on Broadway in Denver will also be hosting an AAPI wellness day Saturday for a fee, with acupuncture, reiki healing and sound baths.

There will be a food truck fest at the Pueblo fairgrounds, the Aurora Reservoir will be free for the weekend and all the Denver recreation centers will be open free to Coloradans as well.

Here’s a sampling of some of the other ways to celebrate Colorado:

Museo de las Americas – Denver
Center For Colorado Women’s History – Denver
Museum of Art – Fort Collins
History Colorado – Denver
Denver Art Museum
Golda Meir House Museum
Colorado Governor’s Art Show – Loveland
Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising at Colorado State University – Fort Collins
Gregory Allicar Museum of Art – Fort Collins
Aurora History Museum
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
El Pueblo History Museum – Pueblo

Harmony: A Colorado Chorale – Denver
Estes Park Rotary Duck Festival

Aurora Libraries – Saturday is Free Comic Book Day
Denver Recreation Centers
Aurora Reservoir
AFA Spring Volksmarch Hikes

Discounted Admissions
Pikes Peak
Space Foundation Discovery Center – Colorado Springs
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

See a full list of things to do and explore the map at

(credit: CBS)

“You’re going to see a really cool interactive Google Map, and you can scroll into any part of the state in your neighborhood to see what events are happening,” said Oliveto. “So you scroll in Palisade, you might see a winery that’s doing a discount for the weekend, in Fort Collins you might see the trail gardens at CSU or even the governor’s art show in Loveland, so there really is something for everyone indoors and outdoors.”

LINK: Celebrate Colorado

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Day Of Remembrance Events Will Mark 1 Year Since King Soopers Shooting In Boulder

Day Of Remembrance Events Will Mark 1 Year Since King Soopers Shooting In Boulder