On June 15 and 16, the Kentuckiana Pride Foundation, a volunteer-based non-profit promoting the LGBT community in Kentuckianaâ€™s social, cultural and economic landscape, will host the annual Kentuckiana Pride Festival at The Belvedere, 485 W. Main St. This yearâ€™s theme is â€œOur Footprints are Everywhere.â€
The festival provides an opportunity for the LGBT community and its allies to meet and celebrate, enjoying a variety of food, entertainment and showcases from local and regional businesses and organizations.
â€œI just think that it brings our community together in so many different ways,â€ said Daniel Cole, a volunteer with the Kentuckiana Pride Festival. â€œEven in a community thatâ€™s very diverse, like the gay community, thereâ€™s still criticism. Itâ€™s truly inspiring (to see everyone come together at the event).â€
Last year, there were more than 12,000 people in attendance at the festival. The number is expected to increase this year, as will the amount of volunteers who help make this celebration possible.
â€œNow that the festival is growing, the Friday festival is expanding and is even larger,â€ Cole said. â€œHonestly this festival can become one of the biggest in the Midwest.â€
A variety of performers will head to downtown Louisville this weekend for the event. Once such entertainer will be Cazwell, a popular figure amongst New York City nightlife.
â€œCazwell is back performing, and (he) performed at last yearâ€™s Pride festival, and was a huge success,â€ Cole said. â€œ(This year will be) the first time bringing a national performer on a Friday night.â€
Cazwell will perform from 10 to 11 p.m. on Friday, June 15, with a performance by Dragapalooza from 9 to 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. to midnight. A slew of musical acts will also take the stage all day Saturday.
The Kentuckiana Pride Festival Parade will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 14, and will proceed west on Market Street from the Tryangleâ€™s lot (just west of Preston Street). Saturdayâ€™s festival will begin at noon.
Whether a member of the LGBT community or a friend of someone who is, the festival is the perfect opportunity to support the growing LGBT culture in Louisville.
â€œI just encourage everyone to take in the experience,â€ Cole said. â€œThese people are not just sharing their journey with others, but theyâ€™re here to support family and friends. And even if your own family and friends arenâ€™t supporting you, you can find friends and family there.â€
Admission on Friday is free. Saturdayâ€™s general admission is $5. Pets are welcome at the parade, but not the festival. There will also be a Friends of Pride VIP Cocktail Party at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 14, at The Belvedere, 485 W. Main St. For a minimum donation of $25, you can enjoy a casual evening while you mingle with sponsors, contributors and members. There will be an open bar; you must be 21 or older to attend.
Due to construction on Interstate 65, the State will not permit the closure of the Second Street bridge. As a result, changes had to be made to the usual parade route. The parade will not proceed down Main Street until reaching Fourth Street. The parade will march past The Connection, as usual.
For information on The Kentuckiana Pride Festival, visit www.kypride.com or check the latest updates on Facebook and Twitter.
Schedule of Events:
Friends of Pride VIP Party
The Belvedere, 485 W. Main St.
June 14 at 8 p.m.
Kentuckiana Pride Festival Parade
West on Market from Preston North on Floyd to Main
West on Main to Fifth
June 15 at 8 p.m.
Friday Night Fest
The Belvedere, 485 W. Main St.
June 15 at 8:45 p.m.
Kentuckiana Pride Festival
485 W. Main St.
June 16 at noon
Friday, June 15th
Fridayâ€™s entertainment will include a performance by Dragapalooza from 9 to 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. to midnight, as well as a performance by Cazwell from 10 to 11 p.m.
Saturday, June 16th
12:15 p.m. Kings and Queensfor Life
1:00 p.m. Bridge 19
2:00 p.m. The Winston Hours
3:00 p.m. RENTâ€ by The Jewish Community Centerâ€™s CenterStage
3:30 p.m. Dangerous Liaison
4:30 p.m. The Blue Umbrellas
5:30 p.m. Eric Himan
6:30 p.m. The Cliks
7:45 p.m. LaBoy LeFemme
8:30 p.m. Guinevere
8:45 p.m. The Ladybirds
9:45 p.m. Xelle
10:45 p.m. Inaya Day