“Music and Mingle” brings holiday cheer to Provo community

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Provo Pride teamed up with The Boxcar Gallery and Studio in Provo to create a community based event called “Music and Mingle” held on Dec 22. Local musicians and members of the LGBTQIA community joined together to celebrate the holidays with food and camaraderie.

“‘Music and Mingle’ was my first attempt as a Provo Pride board member to put together an event. I am really interested in reaching the entire LGBTQIA community in Utah Valley and offering safe spaces and fun activities,” said Nickolas Thurber, director of events and festival entertainment at Provo Pride.

The event featured live music from local musicians like former UVU student John-Ross Boyce, Kathleen Frewin and DJ Bad Kitty. Along with music, Thurber provided free food that consisted of cooked-for-three-days beef brisket, rolls, veggies, and cookies. There was no cover fee and attendees were invited to eat their hearts out and enjoy the awesome music.

“According to Thurber, “Music and Mingle” is part of a larger community outreach by Provo Pride. I was really pleased with the diversity at the event. There were people who had never been to a Provo Pride event before, and that was the goal,” said Thurber.

While this was the first event created by Thurber, it wont be the last.

He plans to continue creating events like “Music and Mingle” in the hopes of generating a larger impact on the Provo community and getting more people involved in Provo Pride. SafeXmas was also at the event to provide a place for members of the LGBTQIA community to go during Christmas. Jerilyn Pool created the event after the LDS church came out with their exclusion policy toward members of the LGBTQIA community.

After hearing about the heartbreak and struggles of those affected by the policy, especially during the holidays, she decided to do something about it.

“I hate Christmas, so I decided that I could do something for people. I ditched some of my family in Oregon and came out to Provo to hold a big ol family-style Christmas,” said Pool. About 20-30 people attended SafeXmas last year; this year Pool expected about 40. The four-day event is sponsored by donations from community allies and includes food, games, movies, and gifts. Pool extended invitations for SafeXmas to attendees at “Music and Mingle.”