BY BTL STAFF
KALAMAZOO – Kalamazoo Pride begins June 12, a two-day pride event celebrating the LGBT community and the many steps taken towards full equality.
Kalamazoo Pride will showcase affirming and inclusive organizations, vendors and businesses as well as food and beverage vendors from all over southwest Michigan. Family-friendly activities will be hosted throughout the day in the youth tent area.
The Eighth Annual Kalamazoo Pride will kick off with a local DJ beginning at 6 p.m. followed by the “Miss or Mister Kalamazoo Pride 2015,” a local drag competition that will crown the winner at midnight. The evening will close out with performances by electronic/R&B artist Tunde Olaniran, a DJ and Catfight, the all-girl band known as “the darlings” of the Chicago cover band scene.
Saturday performances will begin at 2 p.m. with a local DJ and then recording artist Brody Ray, who returns to Kalamazoo to showcase his rock and country sound. Entertainment continues with Bianca Del Rio, the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season six winner; Luciana, the “Queen of Electro,” will headline at 11 p.m.
“Each year, Kalamazoo Pride celebrates the diversity of the queer community, and this year, we’re pleased to offer a diverse group of entertainment as well,” said Jay Maddock, Kalamazoo Pride co-chair and executive director of the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center.
Different from other pride festivals in Michigan, Kalamazoo Pride is a fundraiser for the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center, a 501(c)(3) that serves the LGBT+A communities of southwest Michigan. Kalamazoo Pride is the largest fundraiser for the organization. Last year Kalamazoo Pride was attended by over 12,000 people.
Tickets are $10 for an advanced two-day pass, $5 for entrance on June 12 and $7 for entrance June 13.
“Kalamazoo Pride enjoys wonderful partnerships within our community,” shares Maddock. “This is a venue for both large corporations and small organizations to showcase their support of equality.”
Bell’s Brewery returns as presenting sponsor of Kalamazoo Pride 2015 and will feature Sparkleberry, a blend of sparkling ale and raspberry ale that debuted at Kalamazoo Pride 2013.
“Kalamazoo Pride is a perfect time for all members of our community to come together and celebrate each other. It is also an opportunity to unify our community as Michigan continues the battle toward full equality for all families. Not only do we await the right to marry, but also the right to provide loving homes to some of the 3,000 children needing safety and permanency in our state,” said Amy Perricone, vice president of the KGLRC Board of Directors and Kalamazoo Pride Steering Committee Member.