Today is March 21, 2019 -

Pride Parade Details


Thank you for signing up to march in the 2018 Heartland Pride Parade with Beth El Synagogue and Temple Israel! We will have over 85 participants walking with us this year from all ages and backgrounds. Many thanks to those who donated to help make this event possible, including our Pride Task Force volunteers, Cassandra Hicks Weisenburger at Temple Israel, and Jeff Platt at Ideal Pure Water, who has graciously donated water for us as we march in the parade! We could not have done this without your support!

If you need anything day of, please contact Robert Friedman, 402-690-0687, or Matt Blodgett, 531-205-3974.

Please read through this full email as this information is critical to the success of the march this year.

Find helpful map links here.


7:45 a.m. – PARKING IN DOWNTOWN COUNCIL BLUFFS. This year, the parade will be bigger than ever, but if you are at the parade site early, you will likely have good parking

8 a.m. – RISE AND PRIDE SHABBAT! We will have bagels, cream-cheese, and juice with an LGBT+ Shabbat morning service, in the park promptly at 8 a.m. led by Rabbi Deana Sussman Berezin from Temple Israel. Please meet at the southwest corner of Bayliss Park (100 Pearl Street, Council Bluffs, IA 51503). There is street parking located around the park’s perimeter and streets close by. Please be advised some streets maybe closed off for the parade. As parking is likely to be an issue please arrive early and be prepared to walk a couple of blocks!

8:45 a.m. – LINE UP! Walk to our place to march in the parade. Registration will open and either Matt or Robert will register our group at the registration desk. Now is a good time to put on sun-block and start staying hydrated! The lineup area is located in green on the map. Please lineup with group 27. The lineup is in two spots. We will be near 9th, 10th, or 11th Avenue and Pearl Street or on the other side on South 36th Street. We do not know exactly where we will be until day of the event, as it is hard to tell until day of according to the staff. If you arrive late, you can ask a parade official for our location and they will help you find us. I have been told they will look “very official”. We are after “The Lounge” and before “Marriott”, if that will help you locate where we are. Otherwise come find us in the cool tie-dye shirts!

9:15 a.m. We will run through final details before we start marching as a group in our place.

9:30 a.m. – THE PARADE BEGINS! The parade is about one-mile long. After the parade is over, please help clean up if there are items to help with.

After the parade, the majority of the festivities are in the Baxter Arena. Admission is $12 (+ fees) if you buy online or $18 the day of at the door.

Noon – If you would like to join us for a cupcake or lunch we will be at Jones Bros in Aksarben!


Parking is further outlined on this map.

At the corner of 9th Ave. and S. 6th St. (where the parade begins) there is a health clinic, All Care Health Center. Do NOT park in their lot.

There is some street-parking on 6th St. but it is limited. We encourage you to park in the lot behind the 200-block of Main St. (this lot is on North corner of Main St. and 5th Ave.) You can access that lot from S. 4th St or 5th Ave. Other lots that are also available that day are the lots at the corner of 5th Ave. and Pearl St. (entrance is off Pearl St.) and the courthouse parking lot also off Pearl St. The walk from all three of these lots is about 5 blocks to the staging area. Access to the courthouse lot and the lot off Pearl St. will (at some point) be restricted as the police start blocking off streets. I think you should be OK until about 9:15 a.m.


Shirts can be picked up at the Temple Israel office during normal business hours all this week and can also be picked up right after Rise and Pride on Saturday morning. We sincerely apologize that not everyone was able to order a shirt this year. We hope next year more people will be able to put in orders for shirts.


As we walk through the parade, say HAPPY PRIDE! Cheer! Shout! Pretend it’s Purim! Dress COLORFULLY AND SHOW YOUR PRIDE!

We have plenty of stuff to hold and give away throughout the parade:

  • We will have a beautiful rainbow chuppa!
  • A large banner with Beth El and Temple Israel’s logos on it.
  • Cards explaining our rainbow chuppa with a bag of skittles attached. We would like children or teens to hand these out.
  • A wagon with all our water.

Please trade out often so others can carry the banner and hold the chuppa!


PLEASE TAKE PLENTY OF PICTURES! You can email or text your pictures to Cassandra, or 712-420-1304. Please send them asap as we plan on sending several to the Jewish Press to print and we’ll post them on our Facebook page. Also, don’t forget to share this event on social media. Use the tag #BETIPride2018


Three simple rules:

1. Keep hydrated! We have plenty of water and we’ll be carrying it around in a wheel-barrel. Please do not pass out. If you feel light-headed or are overheating, please let someone know and a parade official can start providing assistance.

2. Wear sun-block and a hat! We will have some sun-block, but please plan to bring your own and share. It is likely to be HOT, reaching up to 93 degrees!

3. Do not interact with protesters! There may be some protesters along the parade route. Simply ignore them, continue wishing everyone a happy pride and move along. If anyone becomes belligerent, please let Matt, Robert or a parade official know immediately. Law enforcement will be present to ensure public safety as well.


There has been much interest in more LGBT+ and Judaism activities in Omaha. We will be doing strategic planning this summer and will include an email to all of you if you are interested in creating an LGBT+ Judaism Greater Omaha group. This would include education, activism, and social programming as well as PRIDE celebration!

Thank you for signing up to be in the parade. We couldn’t do this without you!


Robert Friedman and Matt Blodgett
Pride Task Force Leadership