See the Love at Ferndale Pride this Weekend

See the Love at Ferndale Pride this Weekend

(Crystal A. Proxmire, 6/2/2011)


When news broke that Motor City Pride would be moving its annual festival from Ferndale to Hart Plaza in Detroit, it gave the gay community and allies a chance to reflect on what the spirit of Pride means in a city that is affectionately known to many as “San Fran Ferndale.”   A passionate group of volunteers quickly got together to create events that celebrate Ferndale’s diversity on Pride Weekend, while not conflicting with the larger Detroit event.

Off the bat there were over 20 volunteers, led by Ferndale’s most recognizable event coordinators County Commissioner Craig Covey and Monica Mills of the Michigan AIDS Coalition.  On a very tight schedule they were able to gather a small army of 40 volunteers, set up partnerships between LGBT nonprofits and local businesses, and coordinate three marches – two of their own creation and one in partnership with the Dyke March, which is in its second year.

Ferndale is well-known for its thriving gay community.  It is the home of Affirmations Community Center, Transgender Michigan, Michigan AIDS Coalition, Queer for Books, LGBT Book Club at Como’s, and other supportive organizations.  There is also a strong gay business community, with places like Just 4 Us and Soho standing out with their proud gay themes, and others that are gay-owned or welcoming.

On May 19 Ferndale was recognized by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners as home of Gay Pride Weekend for Oakland County.  Eleven Democrats signed the Proclamation and presented it to Volunteer Julia Music and Ferndale Downtown Development Authority Communications Manager Chris Huges, while Republicans on the other side of the aisle refused to acknowledge the honor.


“Our community is GLBT friendly which allows our community to feel at home in Ferndale. Talking to a Downtown bar owner the other night about a possible gay bar opening elicited this response, Just 4 Us“why call a bar straight or gay? This is Ferndale, it’s a bar and everyone is welcome,” said Music.  “Pride is a part of the fabric of Ferndale, our businesses and vibrant Downtown should shine during this special weekend in GLBT history.”  Music, a proud bisexual elementary school teacher with a husband and toddler, said she hopes those who try to dismiss diversity will come to the event.  “Friends and family have to come out so they can see that they know GLBT people,” she said.

The marches are family friendly, and many Downtown Ferndale businesses will be showing their Pride all weekend long. There will also be a shuttle Saturday night from Rosie O’ Grady’s to the Hart Plaza event.

Here is what’s going on this weekend for Ferndale Pride:





June 3, 2011

  • “We are Family” Parade
    6 pm line-up behind Affirmations/Buffalo Wild Wings (alley north of West 9 Mile Rd. Cars and motor bikes places at front of parade)
    7 pm parade steps off


  • GLBT & Allies Rally
    7:30 pm Front of Ferndale City Hall (300 W. 9 Mile Rd.)
  • “Illuminating Our Diversity”  Night March
    9 pm line-up Ferndale City Hall (300 W. 9 Mile Rd.)
    9:30 March steps off


  • “Downtown Stroll
    All night, 5pm – 11 pm Downtown Ferndale
    Non-Profits paired with businesses 6 to 11 pm across Downtown various locales


  • Alley /Patio Parties
    6 pm – 2 am Downtown Ferndale restaurants/pubs
    Theme/Club Parties    Como’s, Dino’s, Danny’s/Metro Detroit Softball League, Rosie’s, Soho/StoneWall, Loving Touch


Saturday June 4,  2011


  • Southeast Michigan Dyke March
    1 pm begin line-up. 2pm Withington lot alley north of West 9 Mile Rd.
    Rally at Geary Park following the march open to all ages and families (Pinecrest and Breckenridge approx 3pm)
  • After party at Rosie’s 9pm
  • Alley /Patio Parties
    9 pm – 2 am special theme bar parties and club events.


Sunday June 5,  2011


  • Alley /Patio Parties
    6 pm – midnight bar partie -“Tea Dances”


Listed Parties so Far:
June 3

Danny’s Irish Pub and MDSL (Metro Detroit Softball League)  6pm – 1am
Dino’s – tribute to the Greek goddess Juno
Sneakers – Suck and Blow Jello Shot Party
SOHO/Stone house – DJ Steve  $3.50 drinks
Rosie’s  – Studio 54 Night
June 4th

Southeast Michigan Dyke March After party 9pm
Dino’s – Bear & Butch BBQ and Pool Party 3-7pm
Rosie’s unofficial MC Pride afterparty Drag Show 6-9pm

June 5th

Dinos’ – Backdoor Brunch
Comos’s presenting Barb Peyton, live in Concert Sunday June 5

Sneakers -Sneakers  –  Karaoke 9pm

Click here for shuttle information.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 June 2011 23:11

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