Circle City Indy Pride is "Celebrating 25 Years Out of the Closet" this summer.
Pride Week was June 1-8 and included several local events and performances. Festivities kicked off June 1 with The 2nd Annual Rainbow 5k Run/Walk, starting in front of Talbott Street Nightclub with over 350 participants. Proceeds support Indy Pride Resource Center Fund and the Indiana AIDS Fund.
On June 2, a Community Picnic was held in Garfield Park, followed by the 4th annual "Bat'n Rouge," a softball game between the Circle City Pride Softball league and the Indy Pride Bag Ladies, an HIV/AIDS fundraising organization founded in 1981. At the end of the evening was a Pride Skate at Rollercave.
Other events throughout the week included Pet Pride, Pride of Indy Band Concert, LGBT Film Fest Night at the Movies, Girl Pride at Talbott Street, and Bag Ladies Loud & Proud at Greg's. On June 6-7, Broadway star and former Saturday Night Live cast member Ana Gasteyer performed "Pride Night at The Cabaret" at the Columbia Club on Monument Circle. For the first time, Indianapolis Power and Light sponsored rainbow lighting at Monument Circle for the final weekend of festivities.
The week's events culminated in the Cadillac Barbie Pride Parade in Downtown Indianapolis June 8; the Indiana Youth Group (IYG) members were grand marshals. IYG license plates were discontinued last year just three months after their creation following claims the group had illegally sold or auctioned plates. An administrative judge in the Indiana BMV has now ruled the group will be allowed to sell specialty plates again starting June 27.
The Cadillac Barbie Parade also included over 120 organizations, including George Washington Community High School P.R.I.S.M., Naptown Roller Girls, Indy Adult Show Choir, and Indy Crash Women's Football.
The Pride Festival was held during and following the parade in the American Legion Mall on St. Clair to Michigan between Meridian and Pennsylvania. The Indy Mojo 2nd Stage featured a drag show, and other performances included Slater Hogan and DJ Fate. Dekuyper Main Stage hosted several local performances, including Greg's Line Dancers, Indiana Youth Group Spotlight, Indianapolis Men's Chorus, and Indy Pride Bag Ladies. Detox from this season's RuPaul's Drag Race performed later in the evening, followed by Grammy Award Winner Mya.
Over 80,000 people are expected to have participated in Pride Week this year. The festival covered three blocks, with over 300 vendors. The first official public pride event in Indianapolis was in 1988 and had 175 in attendance, according to the Circle City IN Pride web site. For more information, go to www.circlecityinpride.org or download the Indy Pride App here: http://www.circlecityinpride.org/app/.
The celebration in Indiana is not over yet this summer. Fort Wayne Pride events will be held July 24-30, with the festival at Headwaters Park on July 26-27. A Pride March will be held Saturday morning, July 27, at 11:30 AM. Festival performances include local talent DJ T.A.B., and headliner God-Des & She. More information can be found at Fort Wayne Pride's web site: www.fwpride.org/ .