Ferndale Pride is Back and Bigger than Ever

Magic, Mysticism and more abound at Ferndale's Candle Wick Shoppe

With a larger festival footprint, 40 percent more booths, as well as new initiatives to support the asexual and intersex communities, Ferndale Pride 2018 is looking to be an even bigger celebration than years past.
Ferndale Pride's main event, the street fair, runs on Saturday, June 2, from 1 to 10 p.m, and is set to feature more than 150 vendors offering a variety of food, beverages and goods. Attendees are encouraged to check out downtown businesses throughout the weekend for special Pride promotions and deals.
The festival's larger footprint, which now covers West Nine Mile Road between Woodward and Livernois as well as portions of Planavon and Allen streets, allows for even more activities. Julia Music, chair of Ferndale Pride, says there will be an expanded children's area sponsored by Blue Care Network of Michigan, complete with a rock climbing wall and supplies for children to construct their own masks.
Ferndale Pride organizers are also creating more space for the asexual and intersex communities, Music told BTL.
"For the last several years we have been saying 'LGBTQIA,' but we never had people from the 'A' & 'I' group representing," Music said. "We now have booths representing both intersex and asexual people."
"These communities are often overlooked in Pride festivals, so we've worked hard to make connections and to make sure they feel welcome," Music added.
The festival will honor both communities by waving their respective flags, Music said, in addition to hosting a balloon launch in honor of the asexual community.
Live entertainment will be available on two separate stages this year: The Motor City Main Stage and the Genisys Credit Union DJ Dance Stage. Notable billings across the two stages include a live wedding ceremony, a performance from singer-songwriter Chastity Brown, a fire-twirling show, as well as the "Drag Me to Pride" drag show.
This year's naming sponsor of Ferndale Pride is the Candle Wick Shoppe, a small business in Ferndale celebrating nearly 10 years of tarot card readings, Reiki healings, spiritual cleansings and much more.
Music said the small business owners have gone above just throwing money at the event. "They are beyond just great financial givers, as they've also stepped up to the plate to make things easier," Music said. "Jackie Smith, who is one of the owners, has done a tremendous amount of volunteering for Pride. And her husband does IT work for the event. He's contributed hundreds of hours of work."
"For a really small business to get involved at this level is unbelievable … they're great people," Music added.
Located at 175 W. 9 Mile Road in Ferndale, The Candle Wick Shoppe invites patrons to embrace all-things supernatural and fantastical. While the storefront is recognized for its wide offerings of spiritual counseling and cleansing services, it might just be best known for its selection of handcrafted "intention" candles.
"An intention candle is mixed with different herbs and oils, and each candle has its own intention blessed into it," Patrick Vincent, store manager, told BTL. "We have a spiritual cleansing candle to cleanse the home, attraction candles to bring people to you, as well as Adam & Eve, Adam & Steve and Alice & Eve candles for couples to stay together."
Intention candles are handcrafted at Coventry Creations, located in Ferndale and run by sister-duo Jacky Smith and Patty Shaw. Together, Smith and Shaw create candles designed to strengthen emotional balance, quiet the mind, ensure victory and success and manifest desires — among other things.
"What we create is the vibration that your intention will match, empowering you to unlock the magic that you already hold inside," Shaw said on the Coventry Creations website. "You are the ultimate magic maker in your own life. Coventry products give you that nudge to get you out of your personal short circuiting and begin healing."
The Candle Wick Shoppe is also the home of the Reiki Healing Center, a method by which "universal light and love" brings healing and balance to the body, emotions, mind and spirit.
"Reiki is kind of a like a massage, but without being touched," Vincent said. "It's all through energies and the practitioner's own energy. People come in for aches and pains to balance their inner selves."
Individuals "born with the gift of relaying messages of spirits" help facilitate the storefront Reiki treatments, Vincent told BTL, as well as the tarot and psychic readings. He added that the store is in the process of increasing such services to compete with their popular intentional candles.
While The Candle Wick Shoppe has been involved in Ferndale Pride in years past, Vincent said the upcoming 2018 celebration marks the first time the shop has officially sponsored the event. He added that store leadership has always made a point of supporting the LGBTQ community throughout the years, most notably through their diversity in employees.
"This is my first year as a manager here," Vincent said. "As a gay man working here, I really enjoy knowing that the owners of the company support me and what I do."
"I have a very diverse staff as well," he added. "We're a total melting pot – I want it to be a safe space for people working here and being who they are."
The Candlewick Shoppe is just one of many local establishments lending its services to Ferndale Pride, Music said, as places like Affirmations, Dino's Lounge, Otus Supply, Rosie O'Grady's and Level One Bank will host additional Pride-related events throughout the weekend.
Notable events scheduled in support of Ferndale Pride include, but are not limited to:

– 9:30 p.m. Friday, May 11, and continuing until 2 a.m. – Live band karaoke at Dino's, 22740 Woodward Ave.
– Wednesday, May 23 – Pontchartrain performs at Otus Supply, 345 E. Nine Mile Road. Doors open at 8 p.m.
– 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 31 – Water is Life, Water for Flint collection. Bring water donations to Affirmations.
– 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 2 – Free confidential/anonymous HIV testing with Unified at Affirmations.
– 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 2 – A Mystery Most Queer: A Youth Prom Experience for ages 13 to 20 at Affirmations.
– 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 9 – 12th annual Bears in Speedos Car Wash in the parking lot at Level One Bank, 22635 Woodward Ave. Get your car washed by Detroit's Motor City Bears dressed only in Speedos. All profits benefit Affirmations and the Ruth Ellis Center.
– 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. Sunday, June 3 – Rosie O'Grady's Drag Brunch, 279 W. Nine Mile Road.

For a complete listing of events, or for details on becoming a sponsor or volunteer, visit