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Cleveland cruises with Pride to celebrate community
Cleveland--Launching the weekend of June 15-17, the 19th Cleveland Lesbian-Gay-Bi-Trans Pride celebrates the diversity of Northeast Ohio’s LGBT community and commemorates the gay rights movement in America. A whole series of events with the nautical theme “Cruising With Pride” provide family-friendly fun. Highlights include an outdoor festival, parade and rally, an interfaith service, pre- and post-event parties, and Logo cable channel reality stars Nemesis and comedian Jason Stuart.
Voinovich Park, located in downtown Cleveland next to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and surrounded by Lake Erie, will be transformed into a nautical oasis, complete with new attractions, extended hours and top-name entertainment.
Friday, June 15
Goodtime III Cruise. Boarding time is 5:30 p.m., the ship departs at 6 p.m. and returns at 8 p.m. There will be gourmet appetizers and a meet-and-greet with Pride performing artists Joshua and Jacob Miller of Nemesis and comedian Jason Stuart. Donations of $250 and up include a ticket to the cruise and V.I.P. Saturday festival express pass. Tickets can be purchased at www.clevelandpride.org or by calling 216-3710214.
Saturday, June 16
Parade assembly is 11 a.m. at West 3rd St. and St. Clair Ave.
Parade stepoff 12 noon
The parade will head north on West 3rd St., east on Lakeside Ave., and then head north on East 9th St. to Voinovich Park
Rally at 12:45 p.m. on the festival main stage, as the parade arrives.
Festival will be held at Voinovich Park from noon to 8 p.m.
Featured entertainment at the festival includes Nemesis Rising, Jason Stuart, Doria Roberts, Lava Love, Lounge Kitty and Eric Himan.
More events will be announced in the coming days.
Cleveland Pride is currently seeking parade floats and delegations, vendors, donors, sponsors, and volunteers. Call 216-3710214 or go to www.clevelandpride.org for more information.
Each June, communities all over the world celebrate Gay Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969 that sparked the gay rights movement in America. Cleveland’s Pride is among the first half-dozen such celebrations started in the United States, making the parade and festival among the longest continuing Pride events in the country.
Cleveland Pride is sponsored by the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered Community Center, Twist, Union Station/Bounce, Charter One Bank, Cleveland Film Society, ID Lube, Jerry Szoka Master Electrician, Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman, the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland, Cleveland+, Time Warner Cable, the Gay People’s Chronicle, the Plain Dealer, Scene and the Free Times.
Cleveland Lesbian-Gay-Bi-Trans Pride’s mission is to provide education and outreach in the greater Cleveland area that celebrates gay, lesbian, bi and trans culture and to build bridges of understanding within our community and among all Clevelanders.
Four stages will keep Cleveland Pride jumping
Cleveland--Voinovich Park in downtown Cleveland will be the site for national and local entertainment acts at the Cleveland Pride festival, held June 16. Join the Northeast Ohio LGBT community for the nautical theme “Cruising with Pride,” providing family-friendly fun. Featured entertainers include Logo cable channel reality stars Nemesis and comedian Jason Stuart, along with singers Doria Roberts and Eric Himan, the band Rebel Girl, performance troupe Lava Love, and local favorite singer Lounge Kitty.
The entertainment is continuous on four stages, and also include the reggae/calypso band Nuhu and rock/funk/hip/folk band Everygirl.
Marching bands with color guards total three: the Blazing River Freedom Band, the Pride of Indy Band and Color Guard, and the Great Lakes Pride Band from Lansing, Michigan. The national anthem will be sung by Cleveland mainstays, the North Coast Men’s Chorus.
Appearing with style, grace and sass is local drag act the Pussy Cats (which features Payje Turner, Kari Nickels, Shari Turner, Jaime Lynn Versace and Akashia). On the other side of the coin are the legendary male drag act Cleveland Kings. The Cleveland City Country Dancers and the Rainbow Wranglers will not only perform, but conduct dance lessons.
The Pussy Cats will be complimented by “Life’s a Drag,” which features pageant winners Paije Passion, Monica St. James, Keke Valasquez Lord, Brionna Brooks, Krystal Stone, Strawballa Be Agoddess, Mahogany Reason and Devinity.
No Pride event would be complete without a DJ. Cleveland Pride is lucky to once again have DJ Chris Arthur on the dance stage.
As an actor and comedian Jason Stuart has become one of the top touring openly gay performers in the country. Television appearances include Will and Grace and My Wife and Kids.
Nemesis is the openly gay twin pop duo Jacob and Joshua Miller. Joshua is a free spirit while Jacob is focused, and together they deliver fresh melodies and were the subject of a 2006 Logo reality show. Their current hit song is “Number One in Heaven.”
A regular on the national singer-songwriter circuit, Doria Roberts creates songs that have been described as “a delicious, bohemian blend of folk, jazz and pop.” Doria’s versatility as a songwriter and entertainer is never lost and always hits home.
Singer-songwriter Eric Himan lives by the motto “Don’t ask me where I’m from, ask me where I’m going,” and the road of life is bringing him back to Cleveland. In the five years since he first appeared on Cleveland Pride stage, his unique genre-bending sound has taken him down many roads and brought him many awards.
Cleveland power trio Rebel Girl will rock the main stage. Releasing their debut album, winning Cleveland’s “Battle for Myspace,” and being awarded Free Times’ “Punk Band of the Year” puts them on the verge of rock-n-roll history.
Lava Love is a troupe of performance artists committed to developing original theatrical productions that combine dance, theater and acrobatics, integrating athletic physicality, intellectual rigor, social commentary, and relationship exploration.
When it comes to Lounge Kitty, take a cup of cabaret, add a teaspoon of jazz, pour in a pinch of the blues and top it off with a drop of humor. Always entertaining, often silly, she is indefinably unique and a hometown favorite.
But the fun doesn’t start or end with the Pride Festival at Voinovich Park.
For instance, on Friday, June 15 is the Official Pre-Pride Party at Bounce, Rockin’ in the Streets, featuring performer Jen Foster and others. Gates open at 7 p.m. For more info, go to www.clevelandcocktails.com. Bounce is located at 2814 Detroit Ave., Cleveland.
Then after the festival on Saturday, June 16 is the Official Post-Pride Party at Twist, 11633 Clifton Blvd., Cleveland.
Dan Kilbane is the publicist for Cleveland Pride.