Cornett: Pride events an opportunity for fun — and remembranceWritten by Rick Cornett | | CountryConnection@toledofreepress.com
Since 1970, LGBT communities all over the world celebrate June as Gay Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969 that sparked the gay rights movement in America. We come together as one alongside our allies to educate and celebrate love, acceptance and diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
As you come out and celebrate, don’t forget the struggles and strife those before us have endured as they strove for our equality, acceptance and legal rights. We have come a long way in the 45 years since the Stonewall Riots but we still have a long way to go.
Here is a list of gay pride events in the tri-state area that run from late May all the way into September. Happy Gay Pride Month, everyone!
- 6th Annual TransOhio Trans & Ally Symposium: May 30-June 1. This three-day symposium at Ohio State University in Columbus includes over 40 educational and supportive workshops related to the transgender community including health care, surgery, schooling, safety, relationships and youth issues. www.TransOhio.wordpress.com
- Cincinnati Pride: May 30-31. The 40th Cincinnati Pride Festival and Parade is the oldest in the state. Come out and celebrate four decades of pride with a pub crawl, parade, live entertainment, fireworks display and family fun zone at Sawyer Point. www.Cincinnatipride.org.
- Ferndale Pride: May 31. The 4th Annual Pride Street Festival in downtown Ferndale, Michigan, will host a 5K rainbow run, live entertainment, drag shows, LGBT vendors, dance stage and more. www.FerndalePride.com
- Bowling Green Lavender Women Picnic: June 5. This event will be held at the Bowling Green City Park in the Stone Shelter House, rain or shine, from 5:30 p.m. until dusk. Bring a dish to share, family and friends. (419) 410-4310
- Detroit Pride: June 7-8. Motor City Pride celebrates 43 years with a parade and festival on the riverfront at Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit. Events include a commitment ceremony, family picnic, dance pavilions, live entertainment and so much more. www.MotorCityPride.org
- Youngstown Pride: June 7. The 6th Annual Pride Festival and Parade will host live entertainment, door prizes, a beer tent, arcade games, puppet shows for kids and family fun. Downtown on Central Square from noon until 9 p.m. www.PrideYoungstown.org.
- Bowling Green Pride Picnic: June 14. The 2nd Annual Bowling Green Pride Picnic will be held at the Bowling Green City Park in the Kiwanis shelter house from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Bring a dish to share and your friends, family and pride.
- Cedar Point Gay Day: June 15. An annual tradition for decades, the LGBT community invades Cedar Point on Father’s Day. This event is neither endorsed nor denied by the park and all are welcome. www.CedarPoint.com The after-hours party continues at Sandusky’s only gay bar, Crowbar, 206 W. Water St. www.SanduskyCrowbar.com.
- Columbus Pride: June 20-21. The state’s largest pride celebration marks 33 years in Columbus. A two-day event filled with a huge parade, festival, pride brunch, Jaeger Run for Pride 5K, fashion show and live entertainment including Crystal Bowersox. Downtown Columbus at Goodale Park on the riverfront.www.ColumbusPride.org.
- Cleveland Pride: June 28. The 26th annual Cleveland Pride Parade, Rally and Festival will take place at Voinovich Park. www.ClevelandPride.org.
- Detroit African-American Pride: July 22-27. The 19th Hotter Than July celebration is the United States’ second oldest African-American LGBT social justic rally. Six days packed with a film festival, boat rides, youth summit, workshops, picnics, candlelight vigil and more. www.hotterthanjuly.org.
- Fort Wayne Pride: July 25-26.The 18th Fort Wayne Pride Festival will host workshops, live entertainment, vendors, a beer tent, tournaments, kid space and family fun. Held in downtown Fort Wayne at Headwaters Park. www.FWPride.org.
- Gay Games 9: Aug. 9-16. Cleveland will host the 9th International Gay Games with over 35 sports and cultural events. Join the festivals, ceremonies, performances, parties and more as 30,000-plus people, including 11,000 participants, are expected to invade northeast Ohio for the world’s largest diverse sporting and cultural event. www.GG9CLE.com.
- Toledo Pride: Aug. 22-24. The 5th Annual Toledo Pride weekend kicks off Friday, Aug. 22, with Pride Night Glo 5K and 1-mile fun run, walk and roll at 8:30 p.m. at the University of Toledo main campus. Saturday is the main day with the Pride Parade and Festival in Downtown Toledo at Promenade Park with live entertainment, food and drink, over 60 LGBT vendors, boat rides and community networking. Sunday, Aug. 24, wraps up the events with a Sunday Fun Day geared toward family activities including an ice cream social, picnic, face-painting, games with prizes and more. www.ToledoPride.com.
- Kings Island Pride Night: Sept. 5. For the 18th year, Kings Island in Cincinnati will host this annual fundraiser for the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Greater Cincinnati. Live entertainment, drag queens and free parking. www.cincyglbt.com/pride-night.
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