Bay City plays host to Great Lakes Pride Festival - WNEM TV 5

Bay City plays host to Great Lakes Pride Festival

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Beaverton H.S. Grad "Dalylah Desmond" Beaverton H.S. Grad "Dalylah Desmond"
Emcee David Custer asked the audience to take an "Ellen-style" selfie from the stage. Emcee David Custer asked the audience to take an "Ellen-style" selfie from the stage.
Nat'l recording artist Steve Grand Nat'l recording artist Steve Grand

Scorching heat didn't keep hundreds away from Veterans Memorial Park for the first LGBT Pride event in Bay City on Saturday.

The 6th annual Great Lakes Pride was moved to Bay City this year from Saginaw's Ojibway Island and was emceed by WNEM-TV5's David Custer.

"I love that there are so many supporters out there and so much love. I can't wait for next year," said Bay City resident Allison Matthew.

The event with dozens of vendors, entertainers and volunteers was put on by the local non-profit Perceptions group to shine a light on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community.

"Our goal is to bring unity to our diverse community through a celebration of life, equality and family – ensuring that our community and all its citizens can thrive and prosper in a growing, affirming community,” said Christopher Lauckner, Chairperson of Perceptions.

A family-friendly event, this year’s event included a great children’s education and fun area and performances by both nationally recognized and local musicians and performers including head-liner Steve Grand. Grand has more than 10-million views on YouTube and a #3 album on the Billboard Independent Album Artist Charts.

The event began with a moment of silence for the mass shooting in Orlando at a gay nightclub. Attendees were also encouraged to sign a banner of support for the victims and their families.

It also featured the inaugural public performance of the newly formed Harmony Diversity Choir, a choral group made up of LGBT and ally performers.

Several other well-known performers took the stage: De'Borah, Eryn Woods, Jame Taylor Jr., "Tana & Kris" and Mt. Pleasant comedy duo "JC & Dustin." 

One of the most popular acts to take the stage were the drag queen performances lead by Beaverton High School graduate Kayla Guest known on stage as "Dalylah Desmond."

An impromptu wedding proposal took place on stage and Bay City 2nd ward commissioner David Terrasi addressed the crowd about continuing his fight for equality in Bay City.

Several local companies including Dow Chemical, McLaren Bay Region and the Michigan Tobacco 1-800 Line sponsored the event.

An after party was held at Bay City's Prime Event Center from 10pm - 3am.

"There has never been a better time to get involved and make great things happen,” said Lauckner.

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