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Two stages give Cleveland Pride a full day of performers
Cleveland--Despite sharing a weekend with Columbus Pride, Cleveland’s Pride Parade and Festival promises to provide an full array of fantastic events.
The parade will step off from West 3rd Street and Rockwell Ave. at 12 noon, making its way north to Lakeside, then on to East Ninth, turning north to Voinovich Park, on Lake Erie beyond the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
Then the fun really starts, with a rally at the main stage at 1 pm, followed by the Blazing River Freedom Band.
The performances continue on with Anthony Covatta and Melissa “Cha Cha” Figueroa, followed by the North Coast Men’s Chorus and the Rainbow Wranglers.
Ritmo y Raza take the stage at 3 pm, with a performance of Latin dance, and are followed by Early Girl’s hometown rock and roll.
The iconic Melissa Ferrick is up next at 3:45 pm, followed by Stephanie Gerber and then rising young star Diana Chittester.
Houston Bernard brings a little testosterone to the mix at 5:30 pm, then the seductive songstress Robin Stone throws in some R&B. After that, the music switches gears with the flat-out rock of Audiblethread, marking their second year in a row performing at Pride.
Next up is an interesting story. Girl meets girl. Girl becomes boy. Girl and boy become Coyote Grace, taking the stage at 7:15 pm, followed by Jaclyn Bradley and wrapping up the main stage entertainment with DJ Gary S.
Of course, that’s just one of three stages providing entertainment throughout the day.
The Performance Stage also has a full line-up, starting at 2 pm with the Cleveland Kings and Girls, followed by the Ohio Drag Queens. Both groups will perform periodically throughout the day.
Melissa “Cha Cha” Figueroa performs next, followed by La Femme Mystique Burlesque, Pro 2 J and Wasted Productions.
Next up is the Cleveland Fetish Community and the Rubber City Bombshells.
After that comes Unladylike, followed by Da Doll House and Infusion.
On the DJ stage, the day begins at 1 pm with DJ Freeze, followed by Cassie, Lowkey, Rob Black, Bob Ganem and David Call.
Mixing things up, House of Elegance will host a house ball at Pride, the first time Cleveland has seen a confluence of the two worlds.
A dozen councilors lead the parade
The noon parade will illustrate the full breadth of support for the LGBT community in Northeast Ohio, with a dozen Cleveland City Council members serving as grand marshals. All twelve voted in favor of the domestic partner registry which passed in December and took effect last month.
At least a dozen different churches will have contingents in the parade, as will Stonewall Democrat groups from Cleveland and Akron. LGBT rights groups, school and professional gay-straight alliances, local bars and even Joseph Beth Booksellers have all signed up to march in the parade.
Those who are planning to head downtown early can head to the Old Stone Church on Public Square for the PFLAG Cleveland Pride Brunch, which starts at 10:30 am. The event is free.
The following day, people simply will not let Pride go, with two major events along the course of the day.
The annual Drag Softball game, presented by the North Coast Athletics Association, will be held at Gordon Park on East 72nd just south of I90. This year’s theme is “Cleveland Trash vs. Pittsburgh Trash,” bringing the athletic rivalry to Pride weekend, putting it in heels and a dress, and making sure everyone counts the strikes . . . and balls.
The game is at 2:30 pm, and will be followed by a softball league fundraiser at the Leather Stallion.
At 5:30 pm, the Spiritual Leaders Group will have their annual Pride Interfaith service at Trinity Cathedral, East 22nd Street at Euclid Avenue.
This year’s theme is “Generations of Pride: From Riots to Registry,” honoring the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the passage of the domestic partnership registry. Local LGBT activists will speak about their lives, and film clips and photographs will be projected to literally illustrate the history of LGBT Pride.
The service is scheduled so that those who are attending the Sunday performance of the North Coast Men’s Chorus can make it out of the show and over to the church, a block east of Waetjen Auditorium at Cleveland State University.
This year’s Pride concert is “Totally Awesome ’80s,” providing hours of campy fun from the decade that gave the world hair metal, Day-Glo clothes and legwarmers.
“Totally Awesome ’80s” is being performed on Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday at 3 pm.