Pride month celebrations kick off in mid-Michigan

Published: Jun. 3, 2023 at 1:07 PM EDT
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BAY CITY, Mich. (WNEM) - A series of Great Lakes Bay Area Pride events are kicking off this weekend and are just a start to the month-long celebration of inclusion.

Organizers tell TV5 they are expecting more people to participate this year than ever.

“We know that representation matters,” said Scott Ellis, Executive Director of Great Lakes Bay Pride. “Folk’s love collecting these yard signs each year and displaying them at their homes and businesses.”

The free signs are sponsored by local businesses, and designed to show inclusion to local members of the LGBTQ-plus community. Organizers said it’s become a tradition in mid-Michigan since the pandemic.

“Without pride, and showing pride, we wouldn’t have the rights that we have now today,” said Brian Hampshire, part of the DOW GLAAD Team.

“We’ve seen year after year, participation in all our events, including our regional pride festival, increase. 2022 saw our largest attendance yet with 3,000 people gathering at Wenonah Park in Bay City. And I look forward to every year, seeing that increase and we are on that trajectory and looking forward to another great pride month,” said Ellis.

The 2023 Great Lakes Bay Pride Festival is at Wenonah Park on June 24. Coming up Friday, June 9, the Loons will host Pride Night, plus much more.

“We will continue this into next week with distribution days in Midland, Saginaw, and in Mount Pleasant,” Ellis said.

Everyone is welcome at the celebration.

“Allies are one of the most important parts of this. If we have them out here supporting us, that of course is what grows and makes people say, hey, we need to all get behind this,” said Hampshire.

Organizers said Saturday’s event was a success, and they plan to make more signs due to so much interest.

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