On Sunday at Emergent Arts there was a holiday celebration extending beyond your typical "white Christmas" and instead reaching every color of the rainbow. The Hot Springs Pride Alliance, previously known as Hot Springs LGBTQ Alliance, held its annual holiday party for members to gather, give, reflect and prepare for the year to come.
A few of the largest events held by the alliance in 2022 included the annual Pride Walk, Picnic and Halloween fundraiser.
In 2023, the same events will be held, with the hope to grow the Pride Walk into an official parade, and the hope to hold at least two small events for alliance members every month.
These smaller events may include forming teams in pickleball, bowling or hiking; and gathering a few times a month to socialize, alliance president Bob Haness said.
In the spirit of giving, the alliance granted two checks to local organizations at the party: A $2,200 check to the Hot Springs AIDS Clinic, and a $250 check to Emergent Arts.
The alliance is for local members of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies.
Membership dues are a suggested $10 per year. The alliance currently has about 350 paid members.
According to its website, the purpose of the Hot Springs Pride Alliance is to develop and maintain a sense of community and awareness of, about and for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and their allies throughout Garland County, Arkansas.
"We aim to accomplish this through organizing social, service and educational opportunities and outreach efforts to aid our community and celebrate our diversity," the website says.
"We seek equal opportunity to participate in our community at large and to be of service to those who believe we are all members of one family. We welcome all who share and support our purpose to join our organization."
The mission of the Hot Springs Pride Alliance is to engage, educate, empower and enrich the LGBTQ+ community in Garland county and the surrounding area.