Pride Fest Recap

from NW PA Pride Alliance

Downtown Erie blazed rainbows on Saturday, August 29, as over 300 members of the LGBT community and their allies celebrated at the Pride Fest and Parade organized by NW PA Pride Alliance. 

The day began with the Pride Parade, which stepped off from the Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA. Parade units included Erie Gay News, NW PA Pride Alliance, Erie Sisters & Brothers Transgender Support Group, reigning Miss Erie 2015 Valerie Valentino, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) NWPA Chapter, LBT Women, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE), Community United Church, Ladyfest Erie, Northwestern High School GSA, Keystone Progress, and Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Erie.

The parade rolled north on State Street, ending at Griswold Park. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first "Family Portrait" in October of 1995 on the steps of the Erie County Courthouse, a group photo was taken.

The keynote speaker of the event was Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine, the first openly-transgender state level cabinet member confirmed in the U.S. Dr. Levine was introduced by Pennsylvania State Senator Sean Wiley of the 49th Senatorial District. Both the Senator and Physician General spent the afternoon at the Pride Fest following their speeches, enjoying the Erie community and speaking to community members. 

The event was hosted by drag queen Lovin' Heart and DJ Tony G, along with assistance from their stage manager Jessica Pierce. Entertainment was provided by a variety of performance artists: Drag queens Misty Michaels Kall (Miss Erie 2011 and host of the Zone Diva shows), Sasha Alexxander, Taylor Morgan (Miss Erie 2005), Angelica Arkett, and Valerie Valentino (current Miss Erie); local vocalist and songwriter Bob Bearfield played an acoustic guitar set, and the show concluded with electronic dance musician Billy Winn. 

Following Winn's performance, a pair of young women became engaged with a surprise, on-stage proposal.

In addition to the entertainment, attendees had a variety of vendors and information tables to browse. The event was attended by representatives of many local health agencies, non profits, LGBTA groups and multiple vendors. Adagio Health, ACLU NW PA, Asexuality Visibility & Community Group (AVCG), Billy Winn, Community United Church, Equality PA, Erie Animal Network, Erie County Department of Health, Erie County Human Relations Commission, Erie Sisters & Brothers Transgender Support Group, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE), Jamestown Pride Society, Karma Tattoo Studio, Keystone Progress, Ladyfest Erie, LBT Women, Lillis, McKibben, Bongiovanni & Co, Mental Health Association of Northwestern Pennsylvania, National Organization for Women: NWPA Chapter (NWPANOW), NW PA Pride Alliance, Pennsylvania Equality Project, Pennsylvania Youth Congress, Persad Center, Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, PNC Bank, Safe Harbor Behavioral Health, Sam's Club, Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Erie, Widget Financial, Ava Anderson Non-Toxic, Dragonfly Lake Scents, Ellie Ghost, Illustrated Time Photography, Jamberry, Jewelry in Candles, Ms. Zewe, Paparazzi Accessories, Rainbow Creations, Tastefully Simple, and The Cookielady.

Community Health Net and Erie County Department of Health, in partnership with NW PA Pride Alliance, were able to preform free oral and rapid tests for HIV.

Special thanks go out to board members and volunteers: Season Crannell, Chris Dye, Daniel Thomas, Diana Ames, Finu Lukose, Alex Sphon, Melanie Shubitowski, Kelly Kidd, Michael Mooney, Doug Anderson, Deb Spilko, Jodi Shay, Rex Apps, Kim, Andrea, Tammie, Tony Gressley, Johauna, and Adam. Apologies to anyone we may have missed... we were blessed with so many helpful people!


Also view photos here.

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Pride Parade - Posted Sep 22, 2015

Ladyfest Interview at PrideFest - Posted Sep 22, 2015

Community United Church sings in Pride Parade - Posted Sep 22, 2015

Erie Animal Network interview at Pride Fest - Posted Sep 22, 2015

Brit Soule of Ladyfest Erie sings at Pride Fest - Posted Sep 22, 2015

Pride Fest Happy Birthday to Taylor Morgan - Posted Sep 22, 2015

Lovin Heart performs at Pride Fest - Posted Sep 22, 2015

Wedding Proposal at Pride Fest - Posted Sep 22, 2015

Pgh Lesbian Correspondents Interview at Pride Fest - Posted Sep 21, 2015


2015 Major Donors - Thanks!


Dominic M. Sciamanda, D.O.
Erie Gay News
Hospice of Metropolitan Erie
Karpel Group
Persad Center
Widget Financial


Drenched Fur
Erie County Department of Health (ECDH)
Erie Sisters & Brothers Transgender Support Group
Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE)
Lake Erie Counseling Associates

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