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Cleveland Pride wraps up June with dancing and shows
Cleveland--June is a solid month of Pride, and it wraps up with another chance to surround yourself with thousands of other LGBT people enjoying life, to be free and easy, and, most importantly, to #ExpressYourself at the 26th annual Cleveland Pride on Saturday, June 28.
The day’s festivities kick off with the ever-popular parade, which lines up at 11 am on West Third St. at Frankfort Ave., as in years past. It steps off at noon from West 3rd and St. Clair.
The parade’s grand marshal this year will be former Cleveland city council president and NAACP leader George L. Forbes.
Individuals are welcome to enter the parade without registration, which will head up West 3rd to Lakeside Ave., then east to East 9th Street, then north to Voinovich Bicentennial Park on Lake Erie.
The parade lets out into the park for the traditional rally at 1 pm, then on into the festival!
For people who would rather dance than march, Cleveland Pride has you covered. DJ Dan Spurlock and DJ Mystress M will start spinning at 11 am inside the festival grounds; Spurlock will rule the Performance Stage near the Beer Garden, while Mystress M will be starting things off on the Triangle Main Stage.
The full festival kicks off with the North Coast Men’s Chorus, celebrating 24 years of being the voice of gay Cleveland and a perennial favorite, whether onstage at Pride, their concerts at Waetjen Auditorium at Cleveland State University--including “My Big Fat Gay Wedding,” on June 21 and 22--their Valentine’s Day cabaret or other appearances around the city.
After that, prepare to be empowered by the lifted voices of Windsong, Cleveland’s Feminist Chorus, with their repertoire of uplifting music created by generations of women from around the world.
Starting as Cleveland Women’s Choir at the 1979 Womyn’s Variety Show, then as the Moral Chorale, the chorus was formalized as Windsong Womyn’s Ensemble in 1992. In 2005, Karen Weaver came on board as the artistic director, leading to an era of stability and artistic growth for the chorus.
After that comes the fitness party known as Zumba, a blend of international music combined with an accessible workout fusing meringue, cumbia, reggaeton, flamenco and samba dances. Justin Rancher will again be leading the workout, providing exercise both for your body and your eyes!
Next up on the Triangle Main Stage is Less Than 88, one of Cleveland’s favorite cover bands. With two albums, seven years and countless appearances under their belts, they will get the crowd roaring with the best hits of today and yesterday, presented with the voices of Kiki and Jen Banas and the instrumental chops of Dave and Jonathan Sinibaldi, Mark Whalen, Bob Bove and Ed Maguire.
Mixing elements of performers as diverse as Buddy Holly and Marc Bolan, Innocence Mission and the Beatles, Alan Medaj now has eight albums out, with two more expected in the next year--an acoustic album this August and a full-band one next year. He hits the stage after Less Than 88.
Next up is pianist and vocalist Tim Moon, who looks to Freddy Mercury and Elton John as inspiration for his showmanship and performance power. “Someone once told me that if you are not doing what you love, you’re wasting your time, and I try to live by that,” he said. “I want to connect to as many people as possible in a positive way and music is the perfect outlet.”
Following him, Londyn Marie brings a repertoire that stretches from Chopin to Ray Charles, Samuel Barber to Alicia Keys. Getting her start in her church’s Sunday services, already soloing by the time she was nine years old. The perfect combination of beauty and skill, Londyn is sure to get the audience moving.
Shadina proves that The Wire is not the only killer entertainment coming from Baltimore, having shared the stage with Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Robin Thicke, MC Lyte and many more. Discovered by Otis Williams of the Temptations, Shaina released her first album on her own label, collaborating with producers from the United States and Asia. With a single featuring Chubb Rock under her belt, Shadina will have the lawn trampled under dancing feet.
After Shadina, the headline act for Cleveland Pride 2014 will take the stage. The atmosphere at Voinovich Park will be electric with the performer of “Electric Youth,” Debbie Gibson!
In addition to her array of pop songs, Gibson will include Broadway classics, showing why she remains a vital, effervescent performer a quarter century after first making history as the youngest person to write, produce and perform a #1 single.
After three hit albums, she was in 17 musicals in 17 years, including a turn as Eponine in Les Miserables on Broadway, Sandy in Grease on London’s West End, and Gypsy Rose Lee in Gypsy.
Never one to take herself too seriously, she renewed her friendly rivalry with pop star Tiffany by co-starring with her in the Syfy Channel film Mega Python vs. Gatoroid, and now is a celebrity judge on Sing Your Face Off, hosted by out actor and singer John Barrowman.
Having migrated from Wisconsin to New York in 2010, Garek will bring his electro-industrial sound to the Triangle Main Stage. Combining haunting melodies with explosive choruses, he’s been hailed by Australia’s DNA magazine, Logo’s NewNowNext and London’s EQ Music. As DNA said, “He’s ready to rule the world!”
The evening wraps up with Anthony Covatta presenting Cleveland Pride’s Broadway Review, featuring the talents of Christina Ciofani, Tommy Suleiman, Nick Bailey and others.
On top of this, expect drag kings, drag queens, and dozens of other performers on the performance stage next to the Beer Garden, along with vendor booths, food, services from the AIDS Taskforce, AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the Cleveland LGBT Center.
For more information about Cleveland Pride, go to www.clevelandpride.org. All you really need to do, though, is #ExpressYourself!