By Dawn Wolfe
ANN ARBOR – Frequently, the LGBT communities come together to address a political or social need, from marriage equality to supporting the latest victim of job discrimination or hate crimes.
But on Saturday, June 22, LGBT and allied folks in the Ann Arbor area will be able to enjoy an event that’s just for fun during the Washtenaw Pride Picnic from noon-3 p.m. at Allmendinger Park.
According to Amy McLoughlin, a Jim Toy Community Center board member and picnic organizer, the purpose of the free event is “… to focus on bringing people together as a family for a fun event where we can network, socialize and be ourselves together. Our communities have a lot of stuff going on – activism, fundraisers and other serious events, and we wanted this picnic just to be a time to fellowship, be together (and for people to) feel like they’re part of this larger community.” This year’s picnic is the second organized and hosted by the center.
While the event is about about having a good time, McLoughlin said that several elected officials, including State Representative Jeff Irwin, are expected to attend.
In addition to games for all ages, the picnic will feature hot dogs and cold beer (donations requested) as well as a volunteer DJ to keep the energy high. The park has several grills, and the picnic organizers will keep a special grill going for participants to cook their favorite outdoor eating treats.
McLoughlin advised guests to bring food for a picnic lunch, chairs, blankets, and all of the usual accessories that make being outside in the summer both safe and fun – like mosquito repellent and sunscreen.
As for an alternate rain date, there isn’t one. “We’ll dance and play games in the rain if that’s what happens,” McLoughlin laughed.
“Bring the kids, bring the dogs, bring your allies,” she added.
This year’s Washtenaw Pride Picnic will be held from noon-3 p.m. at Allmendinger Park on Pauline Road near Main Street. The event is free and open to all LGBT community members, allies and friends. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/458838437531561/ or call Amy McLoughlin at 734-972-0477.