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Pride will have
Dayton--“It’s About Freedom,” the theme for this year’s Dayton LGBT Pride celebration, kicks off on June 2 for the first half of the city’s traditional two-part Pride festivities.
The Pride March will step off from Cooper Park at noon, wending its way to Courthouse Square.
Making the festival at Courthouse Square even more poignant this year will be a mass wedding dubbed “Vows to Make a Stand.”
Clergy performing the mass wedding and commitment ceremony include Rev. Mark Pridmore of Eternal Joy MCC, Farther Richard Young of Dignity Dayton, Cross Creek Community Church’s Rev. Valerie Garrick and Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship’s Rev. Martha Hodges.
“Couples have already began registering online and through the mail,” said Dayton LGBT Center executive director John Gantt. “We believe this will be a successful event. We have had inquiries from as far away as Canada.”
Couples can register online at www.daytonlgbtcenter.com or call 937-2542087. There is a $7 processing fee.
Rev. Pridmore invites all couples who can attend to come to a May 30 meeting to get to know the clergy members and the other couples. The event will be at 7:30 pm at Eternal Joy, 2382 Kennedy Avenue in Dayton.
“This will personalize the event by bringing the couples together where they can meet one another and meet the clergy. It’s important that we are not strangers to one another,” Pridmore said.
He continued, “The couples who have registered are taking this seriously. They are doing this for personal reasons and because it is meaningful to them and our community.”
The festival will also feature a performance by dance music singer Taborah, known for her singles “I Am” and “All I Gave to You.”
Of course, the Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus will also perform at the festival, both during and after the mass commitment ceremony.
Dayton Pride does not begin or end with the parade and festival, however.
Club Masque, for instance, will feature former American Idol contestants Kimberley Locke on June 1 and Frenchie Davis on June 2.
And the second half of Dayton Pride’s festivities will be held on Saturday, June 16 with the GLBT Expo and Pride Dinner at the Ponitz Center.
Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force will be the keynote speaker at the dinner, and there will be performances by the Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus, Columbus Women’s Chorus and the Human Race Theater Company.
For more information about Dayton Pride, go to www.daytonlgbtcenter.com.