Dayton Celebrates 40 years of Gay Pride
This weekend, Dayton will host its 40th annual pride celebration with events running Friday, June 3, through Sunday, June 5. WYSO's Jerry Kenney spoke with Allison Cox, a board member with the Greater Dayton LGBT Center at MJs on Jefferson about this year's festivities and how Dayton Pride has changed in the last 40 years.
Cox says the event has grown in its 40 year history.
“Originally it was people walking a parade, and not many people walking in a parade. And now it’s turned into an actual festival—an entire weekend of festivities,” she said.
And there have been big changes since last year’s festival. Gay marriage is now legal in Ohio, a change that isn’t supported by everyone.
Every year Dayton Pride draws a handful of protestors carrying signs and chanting anti-gay slogans but they are largely ignored by festival-goers.
Still, Cox saysLGBTCenter will continue to grow and improve the pride festival, while furthering their mission to provide a safe community for sexual minorities.
“We want to make sure that people know that there’s an entire community that’s here to protect, serve, and help anyone who needs it.”
Dayton Pride activities run Friday through Sunday with a parade kickoff at noon and the main festival on Courthouse Square on Saturday
More details for the Greater Dayton LGBT Center: (WYSO is not responsible for this content.)This year the Greater Dayton LGBT Center celebrates its Ruby (40th) anniversary. So we are sending out the call for all the “Friends of Dorothy” to don their ruby slippers and come out to PRIDE for the weekend long celebration presented by PNC bank. Since 1976 the Greater Dayton LGBT Center has been committed to providing events and programs that enhance the lives of the sexual minorities and their allies in the Dayton and Miami Valley area. To further that mission the Greater Dayton LGBT Center has been the driving force behind the Dayton PRIDE celebrations. Of course each year we try to one up the previous year. Last year’s PRIDE celebrations was certainly a huge success and we are confident this year will top them all.
We kick off the celebrations at 5 pm on Friday June 3rd with an “Affair on the Square” a beer and food truck rally where our allies and LGBT community gather to share a relaxing evening on the square with entertainment featuring the Rubi Girls. We wind up the evening with a .5K bar crawl, from the square to the “Fruit Loop” this will be a very memorable evening.
On Saturday June 4th we begin this most auspicious day with a hearty breakfast at Mj’s on Jefferson at 9 am and parade check in and line up at Cooper Park (corner of 2nd and St Clair Streets). The parade will step off at noon, winding through the downtown streets, to welcomed by the awaiting crowd at Courthouse Square where our PRIDE festival will continue from noon till 4 pm. All new to PRIDE this year is a youth and family area called “Rainbow Land” which will feature a small stage, tents for younger and older folks, a bouncy house, and rumor has it another very special attraction. The east end of this area will feature a car show featuring new and vintage cars alike. So if you are a motor head, Saturday June 4th you will want to be on the square at PRIDE! Of course Saturday evening the Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus, along with chorus brothers from Louisville Kentucky will offer in Concert at 8 pm at the Victoria Theatre, “Unity; the missing piece is you.”
Sunday June 5th at Welcome Park (on Edwin C. Moses Blvd behind Welcome Stadium) PFLAG is sponsoring a 5K run/walk at 10 am. For more information or to participate please visit: HERE All New to PRIDE is “Spikes & Heels” a round robin kickball tournament from Noon to 6 pm featuring beer and food trucks. So bring your lawn chairs and plan to spend the day for this exciting and very “campy” event. For more information and to enroll a team for this event, please visit HERE
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