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Holland area’s PRIDE Festival will go outside for the first time ever on Saturday, June 29, with booths, food and live free entertainment at Centennial Park from 1-6 p.m. And then the festival will go inside Park Theater, 248 S. River, from 6-10 p.m., when more free entertainment will be featured.
It will be the biggest PRIDE festival ever in Holland, said organizers from Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Holland/Lakeshore, who began planning the expanded festival shortly after the doors were closed on last year’s indoor PRIDE event.
“We wanted to expand this year’s festival to show the area’s lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual community that they have broad support and many reasons to celebrate with pride,” said Jim Larkin, chairperson of the Holland Area PRIDE Festival Board. “And we are very thankful for those who have lined up to show such support, especially our premier sponsor, Herman Miller.”
Brian Walker, president and CEO of Herman Miller, said, “We are proud to be a premier sponsor of this year’s Holland PRIDE Festival. Herman Miller has a long history as an inclusive workplace and we are committed to encouraging and supporting an inclusive community. Welcoming, respecting, and valuing people for their abilities and talents is critical to the future of our company, and the region. We are pleased to be joining with many others in recognizing and celebrating the contributions of the LGBT community in the greater Holland area.”
In Centennial Park from 1-6 p.m., numerous organizations and businesses are supporting PRIDE by displaying and making available informational resources for festival participants. Live performances by the West Michigan Gay Men’s Chorus, lesbian folk rocker Liz Snavely and other musicians will be provided at the gazebo in the park. A silent auction will also be held of items donated by merchants, including an Aeron office chair, with a retail value of $999, from Herman Miller. Refreshments from food booths can be purchased by festival participants, as well as alcoholic beverages across River Street at the Park Theater.
A happy hour from 6-7 p.m. will kick-off the evening’s fun (18 years of age and older) at the Park Theater and will be followed by nationally known comedian Mimi Gonzales and dancing.
“Gay PRIDE month (June) should be a time of celebration and recognition and we didn’t want it to pass in Holland without letting our LGBT youth and adults know they are loved, respected and supported,” said Mary DeRidder, PFLAG member and vice chair of the Holland Area PRIDE Festival Board. “What better way to do that than with a daylong celebration of their talents and contributions.”
For more information on the festival, go to http://www.hollandareapride.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.