2023 Northwest Arkansas Pride Security Statement

Progress Pride flag

Northwest Arkansas Equality, the producer of Northwest Arkansas Pride, collaborates closely with the City of Fayetteville, the Fayetteville Police Department, and our event venues to ensure the highest level of security for the Northwest Arkansas Pride Parade, Pride Festival, Trans March, and all other official NWA Pride events. We have complete confidence in the comprehensive security arrangements implemented across all areas of NWA Pride, including the Youth Zone.

The Fayetteville Police Department is well aware of the incidents occurring at Pride celebrations across the country and is continually monitoring all communications to help maintain the highest level of vigilance. These concerns have led to an increase in the already robust officer presence for this weekend’s festivities. While the Fayetteville Police Department has not received any specific threats to Northwest Arkansas Pride, they assure the public they are planning for the unknown and that their task for the event is to be as prepared as possible.

We kindly ask everyone to remain vigilant, and as always, if you see something suspicious, say something. We encourage everyone to stay aware of their surroundings as they celebrate. Your continued vigilance and awareness of your surroundings are helpful and appreciated during these celebrations. It is worth noting that many incidents across the country have been averted thanks to observant individuals who promptly alerted law enforcement upon noticing something out of the ordinary.

Each year small groups have protested at NWA Pride. It is important to recognize protesters have the right to assemble on city property peacefully. However, no one has the right to engage in acts of harassment. Comments, gestures, or obscene language directed at individuals or groups can be considered harassment and grounds for removal from the premises. If you encounter any form of harassment, we strongly encourage you to seek assistance from an FPD officer or an official affiliated with the festival.

Additionally, Fayetteville Police have not requested any assistance from any civilian organizations. The presence of unauthorized armed security is strongly discouraged, as it could cause confusion and additional concerns from the public. Despite how well-intentioned this may be, this risks making the overall event less safe.

The Fayetteville Police Department has dedicated significant effort to training its officers on LGBTQ and other diversity and inclusion matters. If you encounter any issues with a protester, an officer, or anyone else during the event, we encourage you to share your experience with us. Your feedback plays a crucial role in our efforts to educate our partners, address conflicts, enhance community awareness and safety, and create a more positive Pride experience for everyone involved.

Northwest Arkansas Pride and our partners look forward to providing a safe and positive environment for this weekend’s celebration.

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