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June 6, 2008

Columbus has a powerful month of Pride events

Columbus--In a city known nationally as the state capital, it’s not surprise that Columbus Pride chose a political theme for this year’s installment of the Pride Holiday.

“Pride ’08: Our Power” will be a month of events, since one day is never enough in central Ohio. In addition to returning events, like the poker run, 5K walk/run and historical panel discussions, a kick-off concert will be held at Stonewall Columbus, the Center on High, on Friday and Saturday, June 6 and 7. $75 VIP tickets get a free copy of Ferron’s new CD, Boulder, as well as reserved seating for the shows and brunch on Saturday with Bitch and Ferron.

Other performers on Friday include the Hamiltons, Colelea, drag kings and DJ Sonya.

The next night, it’s the Fabulous Johnson Brothers headlining with Josh Zuckerman, along with the Flaggots, Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus, the Capital Pride Band and DJ Max and BPM Productions.

There’s a golf outing on June 14, and a special party with out actor Leslie Jordan at Stonewall Columbus to benefit Columbus Pride the next day.

A trio of events mark the Pride Month collaboration between Stonewall Columbus and N the Kno, a group for lesbians of color, including a meet and greet on Friday, June 20 at Stonewall Columbus, a party at Sobe Lounge on Saturday, June 21, and a church service at Advent UCC followed by brunch wrapping up the weekend.

Of course, Rockin’ in the Streets, Qasis Pride, Bat ’n’ Rouge and the Pride Brunch are all back, and grand marshal Janet Jackson will be honored at the brunch.

No, not Michael Jackson’s little sister, the sane one. She’s United Way of Central Ohio CEO and former City Attorney Janet Jackson, long an ally to the Columbus LGBT community.

That’s all prelude (or postlude, in the case of those last four events). The main event, so to speak, is on Saturday, June 28.

The Pride Parade, led by Jackson, will leave Goodale Park at 1 pm and wend its way through downtown Columbus to Bicentennial Park and Civic Center Drive along the Scioto River, where the festival spreads like a gaily-colored picnic blanket as far as the eye can see.

There, thousands of people will thrill to the vendors, food and drink, and, of course, the entertainment.

Comedian Marga Gomez will be the mistress of ceremonies for this year’s Pride Holiday main stage, which will be graced by the finest local and national entertainment.

The Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus will perform, along with festival favorites Flaggots.

The Fabulous Johnson Brothers will grace a Pride stage again, following their kickoff performance, as will the Capital Pride Band.

Unecc and friends, the Columbus Women’s Chorus, Habeeba’s Bellydancers and Lisa O. are among other local acts that will keep the festivities going.

Lori Michaels: Me and the Girls are among the national acts gracing the stage, bringing an electricity that will surely be continued by gay Latin star Jade Esteban Estrada.

That just leaves the headliner, and she’s a dream, girl. In fact, she’s one of the original Dreamgirls--Jennifer Holliday.

However, it won’t just be the established acts rocking the crowd’s teeth loose this year.

No, Stonewall Columbus Pride Holiday organizers are taking the theme of “Our Power” directly to those who will be wielding it next--the teens.

The new Teen Pride Stage, combining the poetry “slam” element and the “jam” element of music and dance, has the moniker “Slam Jam,” and there will be free food and drinks for youth, as well as a venue for poetry, drag, dance performances, karaoke, a jewelry-making table and a mural to be made.

It will be open to LGBT and allied youth up to 19 years old, and volunteers and prospective performers are encouraged to contact lalafizz13@yahoo.com or to call Stonewall Columbus at 614-9302260.

A complete schedule of Stonewall Columbus Pride Holiday events is available at www.columbuspride.org, and even without the Pride Parade and Festival, those could keep a person run ragged all month long.

The thing to keep in mind is, along with the power to choose the next leader of the nation, the members of the LGBT community also have the power to schedule themselves properly so they don’t run out of juice before June 28.

Well, June 29, because you have to hit the Pride Brunch and Bat ’n’ Rouge at the Afrocentric School’s athletic fields.

 


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