Like many 501(c)3 non-profit organizations, Michigan Pride operates on the kindness of volunteers. If volunteers are lacking or there is a decline in participation for a particular event, as a result, the organization chooses not to host it. Such is the case with Michigan Pride’s annual parade this year.
According to their Facebook page, Michigan Pride said that they may consider bringing back the parade next year if there is a popular demand. Their post reads: “We are always looking for feedback, but especially help in planning. Many hands make light work. If you’d like to be a part of the planning process in the future, please let us know.”
Despite the hiccup in planning, the 27th Annual Michigan Pride event will be held Aug. 26-27 in Lansing. This year’s celebration features the White Party on Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. Wristbands are $10 and grant access to Spiral Dance Bar, Esquire, and Sir Pizza. They can be purchased at any of these venues.
The rally at Michigan’s State Capitol on Aug. 27 at noon is followed by the Pride Festival in REO Town at 2 p.m. on and around S. Washington Ave. Festivities will include food and merchandise vendors, nonprofit and information stations, local beer and wine choices, shows and entertainment throughout the day. For more information, visit http://www.michiganpride.org.
First Annual LGBTQ Inclusion Awards
City Pulse, a weekly alternative newspaper in Lansing, decided 2016 is a good year to honor people who helped fight for accomplishments and who are still putting up the good fight against the community’s continuing struggles.
To this end, they requested nominations in two broad categories: individuals and businesses/organizations for both members of the LGBT community, and friends and allies that have advanced the cause of diversity.
On Aug. 26, City Pulse will honor the winners during a special event at Spiral Dance Bar at 8 p.m. It is a ticketed event, but what a deal: for $20 in advance or $25 at the door, guests receive food, two drink tickets and a wristband for the Pride party to continue at the bar following the award presentation.
City Pulse put together a committee of individuals and representatives, both gay and gay-friendly area organizations to decide on the recipients. Winners will be announced in City Pulse’s annual pride issue, on Aug. 24. in advance of the event. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 517-999-6704.
Caption: Current Miss Michigan Gay Pride Jamie Ashby will pass on her crown on Aug. 14 at Spiral Dance Bar in Lansing.
Miss Michigan Gay Pride Pageant Returns
Returning after a six-year hiatus, the Miss Michigan Gay Pride pageant promises to be a high-energy, glamorous event hosted by Karma Vuitton. Contestants from all over the state will compete for the title of Miss Michigan Gay Pride at Spiral Dance Bar at 1247 Center St. in Lansing on Aug. 14 at 8 p.m. The pageant is open to drag queens, female impersonators and transgender women, according to pageant director Delicious Jackson.
“Miss Michigan Gay Pride embodies an overall confidence that is relatable to all walks of life in our community,” Jackson said. “She possesses a talent that is entertaining and moving. She is also a well-spoken individual that is dependable and available.”
The current titleholder is Jamie Ashby, a transgender woman from Grand Rapids. During her reign, Ashby has participated in Pride celebrations throughout Michigan. She has organized fundraising events and benefit shows to help raise money for LGBT causes such as HIV/AIDS. Ashby has performed her duty as a role model for the transgender community to include work with transgender youth and support groups in Grand Rapids.
Jackson said the winner of this year’s pageant will continue these kinds of efforts and more.
“She will also be entertaining and appearing at the annual Michigan Pride event in Lansing. She will recruit girls for upcoming pageants. Throughout her year, she will make appearances at Spiral and she will ride in the 32nd Annual Silver Bells Parade in the City in November,” she said. “Our queen will participate in other Pride festivals throughout the state, making herself a visible role model within the LGBT community.”
The Miss Michigan Gay Pride pageant is made possible by Jackson, Kyle Clark, and many sponsors within the Lansing community to include Spiral. For more information, visit http://www.spiraldancebar.com or call 517-371-3221.
Kids Day: A Family-Friendly Event
Spiral Dance Bar in Lansing is kicking off Pride weekend with their first-ever family fun day in their parking lot. Spiral employees have been raising money to help children in need with their school supplies. The goal is to have 100 backpacks full of standard school necessities to provide to those children who need them on Aug. 26 from 4-8 p.m. Festivities include free hot dogs and chips, face painting, dancing and games. All ages are welcome. Entry is free for this event. Those who wish to donate money or supplies are encouraged to drop them off at Spiral at 1247 Center St. in Lansing. To get involved, email Sam Courtney at firstname.lastname@example.org.