MUSKEGON, Mich. — In just over a week, the City of Muskegon's very first Pride Festival takes over downtown.
With music, vendors and a drag show, all geared toward good fun, good friends and support for the LGBTQ+ community.
The finished product will represent an effort years in the making.
“There was a group of us… that wanted to get the community together,” Muskegon Pride Center President Jeffrey Pienela related. “There is such a base here in the LGBTQ community, so we’re like let’s throw a pride festival.”
Now just counting down the last few days until the very first pride festival in Muskegon history gets underway…
“It is a little nerve wracking,” Pienela laughed. “We have all kinds of things going on… it's exciting, but it's coming together good.”
“Just making sure that all the logistics are handled, and people are going to come down and have a great time,” Emily Morgenstern, president of JCI Greater Muskegon, the Festival’s co-organizer said.
The festival begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 4 on Western Avenue.
Plans include, per a schedule found on the Visit Muskegon website:
- Introduction by Muskegon Mayor Ken Johnson
- Opening prayer
- Musical entertainment
- DJ Deja Sky of Ru Paul’s Drag Race
- Poetry readings
- HIV testing services
- Drag Queen Story Hour
- 60+ vendors
- Pride Ride
- Free Mom Hugs
- After Party Drag Show
- Food Trucks
And while a celebration Pride most certainly will be…
“It’s just another one big event that we can celebrate Muskegon’s diversity,” Morgenstern related.
This festival will also dig deeper as a source of love and support.
“We’ll have a big celebration… but then we'll also have those community resources that we have here in Muskegon county that people may or may not know about,” Morgenstern said.
“Hug all the… individuals… that are not really supported at home and told that they're beautiful and wonderful and loved and to keep being themselves,” Pienela added.
A long overdue welcome.
“Muskegon has been so welcoming and showing us that they're ready as well for this,” Pienela related. “Muskegon is ready to grow… that's why it's time.”
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