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Theatre, Music, etc.


June 20, 2008

Two days, one Pride

Cincinnati’s Pride Alive becomes
a destination event

Cincinnati--“Celebrating Our Diversity” was the theme for Cincinnati’s Pride Alive celebration, but the party itself reflected more similarities.

As in past years, large crowds swarmed to Hoffner Park on June 14 and 15 to hear a staggering array of music, an increasing number of people marched in the parade from Burnet Woods, and Pride celebrated some notable firsts.

According to Pride Alive chair Harold Keutzer, his favorite part of the festival “was to see the rainbow flag being raised up the flag pole by a Northside Business Association officer and having Todd Portune, a Hamilton County commissioner, read the proclamation that he wrote, without being asked to write one, at the festival.”

Both the flag-raising and the unprompted proclamation were firsts for Pride Alive.

Keutzer noted that, while the number of entries in the parade on Sunday remained steady from last year, there was an increase in the number of people, up about 20 percent to 1,200 marchers.

During the two-day festival, Saturday saw an attendance of roughly 4,000 people at Hoffner Park, while Sunday’s figures were an impressive 13,000 people.

“People came early and stayed late,” Keutzer noted.

The Pride festivities spread over a larger area this year. The food and beverage booths were moved across the street to make more room for the festival.

Keutzer also believes that the community is showing a greater effort in making Pride Alive a major destination event.

“I think groups are starting to put more energy into their floats and parade entries,” he said. “It was nice to see the use of festooning in the parade.”

He continued, “Overall, I think the park felt like it was our home with the flags and banners.”

While Keutzer’s comments came two days after the event, far too early for concrete plans for next year, his mind was already working on improving upon the festival’s greatness.

“Preliminary changes would be to expand the metal barriers around the park, which will add more room for banners to be hung,” he mused. “Expand the staging, food tables and chairs, purchase more flags.”

Another idea for next year’s event, which will be held on June 13 and 14, is to create a limited-edition Tshirt available only to sponsors and volunteers to increase the volunteer base.

Even with the possibility of those slight changes, Keutzer said, “This year’s festival and parade seemed to be very smooth-running.”


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