Motor City Pride has announced it has for the moment decided to postpone its June Pride festival until September. The new dates for Motor City Pride will be Sept. 18 and 19 in Hart Plaza "as long as the rate of new infections reduces over the summer as more people are vaccinated," said MCP President Dave Wait.
MCP will also host a second Pride Live this year.
"Pride is important for our community, so our Pride committee and a talented team of volunteers will host Pride Live, a two-hour virtual celebration loaded with performances by festival favorites and special appearances by community leaders," Wait said. "This is not a replacement for our Pride festival, but rather an opportunity to engage with our community in a creative, meaningful way as plans for our physical festival continue to evolve."
The virtual Pride Live will take place on Saturday, June 5, from 3 to 5 p.m. on motorcitypride.com. In addition to live entertainment, the multi-channel experience will include a Pride History section, a virtual marketplace, an art exploration area, user-generated content via social media platforms, online community resources and messages from partner LGBTQ+ organizations.
Though this will be the second year in a row there is no Pride festival in Detroit in June, Wait said he's optimistic about the September date.
"It's too early to cancel," he said. "People want to get together to show support, to celebrate and to really advocate for further protections for the LGBTQ community and all citizens. Talking to the city, they're planning to have events back up starting in July. We thought that might be a little early so we went with the September date they had available and we're optimistic we can gather as a community."
Wait did say, however, that keeping the Motor City Pride brand alive has been challenging during a pandemic.
"It's hard to remain active when we're not able to meet," he said. "We do a few things to kind of keep our name out there because we haven't been able to meet and we rely on that so much. Our funding through our sponsors has been very encouraging. Sponsors funded us nicely last year. They helped us present Pride Live. We thought we would just do that out of our reserves and their contributions helped us do that in a nice way. It also helped us provide almost $18,000 in support to other Pride organizations once that event was over."
Already, MCP is looking for sponsors for this year's two events.
"We've had a number of companies who reached out to us wanting to start the plans for this year," Wait said. "Their interest is there and they're very supportive so we're working on different arrangements to lock in their support for the coming year."
Wait is also is looking for volunteers. A virtual volunteer meeting will be held Monday, April 26, at 7 p.m. The meeting will overview volunteer roles and MCP's areas of greatest need. To attend the meeting, email [email protected].