This year's Diversity Day events include a non-motorized parade starting at the north end of Higgins Avenue Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m., leading to a rally with several speakers at the Boone and Crockett Club by the south end of the Higgins Avenue Bridge.
Thurber said the parade will include people ranging from Kyi-Yo Pow Wow participants to members of the Traumatic Brain Injury Association.
Slated speakers include the Mayor, a Hmong woman, and a homeless man who lives at the Poverello Center. "We're imagining it as a parade of all of Missoula," she said.
Thurber said Bob Oaks from the North Missoula Community Development Corporation will talk about Missoula history, and how once it was an ethnically diverse railroad community with a Chinatown and Japantown on the northside. "I think it's easy to write off Missoula as ‘This is Montana, this is how it's always been and always will be,'" Thurber said.
Among the parade participants will be a crowd of about 40 people wearing bright red, orange, yellow, blue and green shirts, representing Youth Forward, a new group for LGBTQ high school students. Facilitator Jason Paranto said they intend to be "incredibly campy and beautiful."