The Circle City Pride Celebration is a week of events, culminating in the Pride Parade and Festival on Saturday, June 8th. Visit their site for a list of the events; there’s lots to do this year throughout the week. But definitely the highlights are the parade and festival on Saturday.
The Cadillac Barbie Pride Parade kicks off at 10 am on Massachusetts Avenue and winds through downtown to the festival site at the American Legion Mall. There are over 100 groups marching in the parade and thousands of spectators. Come early to get a good spot – people begin assembling for the parade at 8:30 am. (I’ll be marching with city-county council member Zach Adamson’s group this year).
The Circle City Pride Festival gates open at 11 a.m on Michigan street. The festival stretches 3 city blocks, and hosts over 300 vendors and dozens of different entertainers during the course of the day.
Over the 25 years that this event has been going on, the Pride Celebration has been transformed from a small community event to a diverse state-wide gathering of thousands of people from all walks of life. Today the parade and festival have an estimated attendance of 80,000 people, with events going on all week long. The Indianapolis Star as a nice article about the 25 year history of the pride celebration that’s very worth reading. I was one of the attendees at the first pride celebration on the circle in 1988. I drove down with friends from Ball State to set up a booth for Ball State’s LGBT Student Association, now called “Spectrum.” It was held on the Circle the first few years, attended by several hundred people and lots of protestors.
I think the Pride organizers have done a fantastic job of growing the festival, and of making the event worthy of a city the size of Indianapolis. I’ve been a part of organizing events like this in the past – it isn’t easy and there are lots of details to chase down. I have a lot of respect for what the organization has been able to build over the years. I’m excited for this year’s event; it promises to be bigger and better than years past.