Milwaukee Pride's 31st Annual PrideFest Milwaukee welcomed a record-breaking crowd of 45,000 people, according to a press release.
This number reflects a 21-percent increase over the previous record of 37,682 set in 2017and is the single largest year-over-year increase in the event's history.
This was a year of firsts for PrideFest Milwaukee, including:
PrideFest's first-ever four-day weekend as the festival expanded with a Thursday Launch Party;
The first-ever 1st Annual Ride with Pride, in partnership with Harley-Davidson Museum, Fuel Cafe, Brewtown Rumble and more; and
The first-ever VIP Tea Dance, with radio partner 91.7 WMSE as a sponsor.
This year was also the first that PrideFest Milwaukee rejected tobacco sponsorship dollars, refocusing on local LGBTQ well-being through expanded Health & Wellness, Stonewall Stage, PrideFit and South Ends Sports Zoneprogramming.
Journalist and politician Danica Roem was the keynote speaker. When elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017, Roem became the first openly transgender individual to be elected and serve in any U.S. legislature.
Also, the 2018 Pride Awards were presented, to 1st Annual Ride with Pride Cormac Kehoe ( Individual ); Ald. Cavalier Johnson of the Milwaukee Common Council ( Ally ); the Queer Zine Archive Project ( Organization ); transgender prom queen Nikko Nelson ( Valor ); and History of Gay Milwaukee's Facebook administrator, Jamie Taylor ( Legacy ).
In addition, PrideFest Milwaukee welcomed the B-52s, Jussie Smollett, JoJo and Daya, and more than 300 additional acts at 10 performance spaces, including the Dance Pavilion, Wom!nz Spot and Milwaukee Record stages.
Photos at http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Milwaukee-Pride-photos/63170.html