Pride Picnic wrap up

by Mike Mahler

Huge thanks to everyone who made the 2005 Erie Pride Picnic such a wonderful success! We had about 300 people attend, about the same/slightly down from last year. This year's Picnic was held on the 4th Saturday, due to a scheduling issue. Next year we will be back to the 2nd Saturday in June. There was a wide diversity of members and friends of the community represented. And keeping up a 13 event streak, we once again had beautiful weather! All 3 local TV news stations reported on the event.

You can also see local TV coverage that aired at Trance's web site.

There were so many people who made important contributions to the picnic's success. Thanks go out to the donors who gave or lent materials that made the picnic possible: Coca Cola of Erie, Wegmans (Peach Street), Giant Eagle Harborcreek, the Zone Dance Club and Trance Dance Club. Cascade United Methodist Church was kind enough to lend us roasting pans to keep the burgers and hot dogs warm.

We also gave away a number of door prizes this year, expanding on what we did last year. Thanks go out to Boatmaster Detailing, Pie in the Sky Cafe, Two Friends Italian Market, Allen Stoneware, Eclectic Etceteras, Papa Joe's Pepperoni Cafe, Trance Dance Club and the Zone Dance Club.

Please support these businesses who support us! We are deeply grateful that there are so many good and supportive business in the area!

We also had volunteers assigned to areas for hour long shifts for the first time this year. Huge thanks go to staff/volunteers AJS, Dan Burdick, Nikki, Heather, and Tara for working the registration table; Kevin Schultz for phenomenal help with taking photos; also Tim Zarnick, Janet, Tim Dahle, Preston Blood, and Rick Blair for also taking photos; Brian and Larry for kitchen supervision, and many, many other tasks; Judy, Julie, Marshall Snyder, Gary, Nancy for cooking and kitchen organizing; James von Loewe for painting the giant rainbow rings and making them look all shiny and new, as well as cooking; Bob for cooking; Tony, Chris, Shirley, Dok and Jamie for clean up; Brian Bohrer, for lending us a roaster pan; Deb Spilko for taking photos; Mike Lipiec for designing a nifty flyer yet once again; SHOUT Outreach, PFLAG, Erie County Department of Health, and American Veterans for Equal Rights for putting together the info tables; and a bonus thanks to Brian, Larry, Bob and etc. for helping to organize. On a personal note, many thanks to Mike and Willie, who took me out to dinner and helped move materials from the attic to the vestibule the night before the Picnic. That was particularly thoughtful. I apologize for anyone that I may have overlooked.

We were also very glad to have the Chris and John Road Show film their premiere episode of their series here! This is a 1/2 hour comedy/reality show series that will premiere this fall on OUT TV, a gay cable network from Canada. They came to the picnic and filmed folks, and set up Dan on a date with Tim. The men went to papermoon, Green Garden Bowling Lanes and Trance. The episode will premiere in September/October. We will also be getting a copy of the episode to show here as well. The producer saw the info for the Pride Erie Picnic online, and decided to film here.

Political figures attending included Tim Zarnick, (at the time of the picnic, he was running as a Republican candidate for Erie City Mayor), Joe Giles, Democratic Erie County Councilmember, and Joy Greco, Republican Erie County Councilmember and candidate for Millcreek Township Supervisor.

For those who you who like to mark your calendars very far in advance, the 2006 Pride Picnic will be Saturday, June 10 from 1 PM to 6 PM at the Rotary Pavilion. For more info about the Pride Erie Picnic, call Michael Mahler at (814) 456-9833 or email

There was a collection of nonperishable items for the Second Harvest Food Bank of NW PA. We collected 81 pounds for the food bank. Go team!


Also view photos here.

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