Erie, Pa.--For the thirteenth year in a row, pleasant weather greeted the Erie Pride Picnic, which was held on June 25 at Presque Isle State Park.
The picnic is normally held on the second Saturday of the month, but scheduling conflicts necessitated a move to the fourth Saturday.
According to Michael Kenton Mahler, publisher of Erie Gay News and one of the main organizers of the event, around 300 people turned out, a slight dip in attendance from last year.
He also said that the three local television news stations all came to the party, which was attended by Erie mayoral candidate Tim Zarnick and county council members Joy Greco and Joe Giles. Zarnick and Greco are Republicans and Giles is a Democrat, illustrating the bipartisan support for the picnic.
Out TV, a gay cable network from Canada, was present as well, filming an episode of The Chris and John Road Show, a comedic reality show. In the episode, two local men were sent out on a date to Papermoon restaurant, Green Garden Bowling Lanes and Trance Dance Club.
�We will be getting a copy of the episode to show here as well,� Mahler said. �The producer saw the info for the Pride Erie Picnic online and decided to film here.�
�There was a wide diversity of members and friends of the community represented,� Mahler said. He also pointed to nearly a dozen sponsors who helped provide materials for the event, including doors prizes.
Mahler also pointed to the over 25 volunteers who set up, cooked and cleaned up for the picnic.
�We had volunteers assigned to areas for hour-long shifts for the first time this year,� he said.
Picnickers also gathered 81 pounds of food for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania.
As is the tradition with the Erie Pride Picnic, a �family photo� was taken, which will be posted at www.eriegaynews.com, as well as being printed in the next edition of the newsletter.
Next year�s picnic is tentatively slated for June 10.
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