(Crystal A. Proxmire, 4/4/2011)
The Ferndale Pride 2011 Planning Committee is in full swing as over 20 volunteers gathered last week to flesh out details of the three day celebration. From June 3-5 Ferndale will be host to many LGBT community events designed to complement the Motor City Pride Celebration taking place in Hart Plaza. Shuttles will run between the two events.
The Planning Committee brought together representatives of all interested parties. There were plenty of Ferndale residents excited to be involved in shaping the festivities. Businesses like Just 4 Us, Rosie O’Gradies and Soho sent representatives to see how their establishments might fit into the party plans. Affirmations hosted the planning meeting, and the LGBT community center will be a focal point for some of the events. Detroit Latinas, LGBT in the Park (from Hazel Park), Michigan AIDS Coalition, and Dyke March volunteers were also on hand. Chris Hughes of the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority (DDA) was also there to “make Ferndale shine as it always does.”
Within weeks of learning that Motor City Pride was relocating its annual celebration from Ferndale to Detroit, the Ferndale Pride 2011 Planning Committee has already pulled together several fun and empowering events, which are timed not to interfere with the Detroit event.
Friday, June 3 –
“We are Family” parade down 9 Mile with lineup at 6pm. The parade will end at 7:30pm in front of City Hall where there will be a GLBT & Allies Rally. At 9pm there will be a “Night March,” where supporters will carry candles and flashlights through Downtown, ending with another rally at 10pm at City Hall. The entire evening there will be events at Downtown stores and bars, with theme parties. Several bars and restaurants have already signed up for the fun.
The second annual Dyke March will take place at 2pm down 9 Mile and ending at Geary park for an afternoon of celebrating.
The committee is currently looking into what events on Saturday and Sunday might also work. They are looking to grow their volunteer base. The committee seeks parade/march organizers, moniors, security, rally organizers, sound, staging, entertainment, planning for bar events, staffing at events, collection of sponsorships, sales, outreach to organizations and obtaining permits. They are also seeking sponsors and businesses who would like to get involved.
The group is considering ways that businesses in Downtown Ferndale might pair up with nonprofits for an event that will draw people into the stores and gain exposure for the groups involved.
“I have been to every Pride festival,” said volunteer coordinator Monica Mills. “I’m excited about the Hart Plaza event, but we’re also excited to have a presence here.” Like many in the area, Mills plans on attending multiple events that weekend. The Ferndale Pride 2011 group hopes to make that easy for people, by providing shuttle service between Detroit and Ferndale.
Proceeds from Ferndale Pride 2011 will go to the Ferndale Community Foundation, Michigan AIDS Coalition, Affirmations and the Dyke March. To get involved with the planning, contact volunteer coordinator Monica Mills at email@example.com.