By David Ryals
EACH SUMMER, FERNDALE KICKS OFF SUMMER WITH A PRIDE FEST THAT STRETCHES UP AND DOWN 9 MILE. There’s no better place to host an inclusive and colorful Pride Fest than Ferndale. The city’s Pride draws more than 25,000 attendees for an entire day of sponsors, street vendors, LGBTQ+ performances and celebratory energy.
Ferndale Pride strives to recognize and promote pride for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and asexual and ally communities, working with residents, businesses, community groups, and all segments of the community to welcome and promote the celebration of diversity and the celebration of Ferndale.
Julia Music, the head organizer and all-out genius behind Ferndale Pride, gave Ferndale Friends a preview of what to expect at this year’s event. “Ferndale Pride is on June 1st this year and there are lots of exciting plans for Ferndale pride 2019. One thing people can look forward to is our weddings at the Rust Belt. We have availability for up to six couples to get married throughout the day in the beautiful space within the Rust Belt. To sign up for weddings go to the website and click the registration link.”
Julia is planning with precision consideration this year to make sure the weather, whatever it may be, will not be a factor for certain festivities. “Moving the weddings indoors gives us the opportunity to make sure that weather doesn’t factor into anyone’s special day. Using the Rust Belt Market gives participants a beautiful background, a cash bar, and a premium event space at a very reasonable price. We are also looking at expanding the children’s area to have a few more fun interactive events for the children. Most importantly, we’re working with the library and several businesses to create events all over the city of Ferndale in the month of June.”
Metro Detroit is very fortunate to have two pride festivals, both Ferndale and Motor City in Detroit, but there are a few differences between them that Julia clarified. “Both events are wonderful days of celebration. Our event is a little bit different because it happens in a downtown. Bars, restaurants and stores all get in on the fun. Patrons can support the businesses that support LGBTQAI-inclusivity every single day of the year. In addition, we also donate money to local nonprofits. To this date we donated over $145,000 to five charities. It is our continued hope that Ferndale pride is the most inclusive LGBTQAI event in the state of Michigan. We want to make sure that it is a great day for Ferndale businesses and guests of the event.”
“We have many volunteers who go above and beyond to make sure this event happens. Shawn Starkey works on logistics, Mayor Pro Tem Greg Pawlica does all of our finance, AG Phoenix is in charge of IT, Andrew Shankles helps us with fundraising and there are many more on our committee and at the day of the event who make Ferndale Pride happen.”
SAT JUNE 1 | 10 AM – NOON | FERNDALE LIBRARY
LOVE PRIDE? LOVE YOUR COLORS? Love your flags? Then wear your rainbows with PRIDE and sign up for the 7th annual RAINBOW RUN! Celebrate diversity and acceptance on June 1st by kicking off Ferndale Pride weekend with a 5K run/walk through the streets of Ferndale! Earn your celebratory libations and foods with a little run in the morning. This year’s Run will feature rainbow socks. No more messy paint! Awards will be given for first and last place and the runner who wears their rainbow best! Dress for the occasion, warm up with Ensoul Yoga and be ready for fun along the route. Sign up at getlocalhop.com/rainbow-run-2019 or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. ■