Diversity, sexual orientation and gender identity celebrated at downtown festival

contact: Deanne Puca
| WMU News

Photo of a rainbow flag at a gathering.KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A two-day event celebrating diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity will feature live music, food and activities and will run Friday and Saturday, June 9-10, at the Arcadia Creek Festival Site in downtown Kalamazoo.

Performers include local artists, a cover band, a former American Idol contestant and drag performances. Tickets are $10 daily or $15 for two-day passes purchased in advanced at 340 S. Rose Street or by calling (269) 349-4234.

Entertainment and Activities

Entertainment for the 10th annual Kalamazoo Pride begins at 6 p.m. Friday, June 9, with DJ Dazzleship, the "Miss/Mister Kalamazoo Pride 2017" local drag pageant, a comedic cabaret from Sutton Lee Seymour, and HairMania, an 80s rock cover band.

Performances on Saturday, June 10, kick off at 2 p.m. with DJ Dazzleship, and then local duo Pariah will come to the main stage. Grand Rapids indie/soul band Vox Vidorra will perform tunes sounding of Motown funk with a jazzy twist.

Evening performances include Kalamazoo local and WMU alumnus Matt Giraud, the fifth-place finalist from season eight of American Idol, and R&B/reggae fusion artist Diana King, best known for her song "Shy Boys." Gay rapper CAZWELL from New York City will perform, and Jinkx Monsoon, winner of season five of RuPaul’s Drag Race, will end the evening.

"For 2017, the performance lineup is an exciting mix of indie, soul, pop, reggae, R&B, rap and cover music as well as fabulous comedy and drag performances that showcase the diversity of the LGBTQ community," says Jay Maddock, executive director of OutFront Kalamazoo, the organization that hosts the event. "There is truly something for everyone at our 10th annual event. We're pleased to be able to share this high caliber entertainment with Kalamazoo."

Kalamazoo Pride

Kalamazoo Pride is a fundraiser for OutFront Kalamazoo, formerly the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center, a 501(c)3 that serves the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied community of southwest Michigan. Given that an estimated 10,000 people typically attend, it's also the largest fundraiser for the organization.

Returning as the presenting sponsor of Kalamazoo Pride 2017 is Bell's Brewery, which will again feature Sparkleberry, a blend of Sparkling Ale and Raspberry Ale that debuted at Kalamazoo Pride 2013.

Saturday's popular vendor alley features affirming and inclusive organizations and businesses, as well as food and beverage vendors from all over southwest Michigan. There will also be family-friendly activities planned throughout the afternoon in the youth tent area.

Outfront Kalamazoo

For more than 20 years, OutFront Kalamazoo, formerly known as the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center, has sought to serve the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied community of southwest Michigan.

The organization sponsors film festivals, documentary film series, book discussion groups, events in honor of Pride month and Women's History month, lectures, readings, and more. Much of its recent work has centered on youth programming and addressing the ramifications of bullying.

For more information, visit kglrc.org or pride.outfrontkzoo.org.