Last week when we spoke to Stonewall Columbus Executive Director Karla Rothan for our Pride Weekend preview, she told us about the importance of the event. It goes beyond the fun and celebration of the parade and the festival. There’s a fundraising element as well. Columbus Pride (unlike many other community pride events around the country) helps in a substantial way to fund our local Stonewall organization. In fact, Karla says that roughly 25% of Stonewall’s annual funding is generated through Pride Weekend.
So when the weekend’s torrential rains came and Goodale Park was forced closed Saturday afternoon, the coming financial impact was clear. Estimates are that Stonewall lost nearly $150,000 due to the the festival’s early closure. The group spent $365,000 to put together this year’s festival and parade…and some of that money is just gone, washed away with the rains. Karla says that a $50,000 rain insurance policy will help. And some vendors may be willing to give the group refunds on returned items like beverages. As a non-profit, Stonewall will likely have to rely on the kindness and generosity of the community to make-up the shortfall.
Cross your fingers that this weekend’s ComFest organizers have better luck with the weather and Goodale Park than the organizers of Pride. (jj)
Stonewall Columbus has set up a fund for those wanting to donate. For more information, click here.
Previous: Update: Pride closed due to weather 6/20/15
Columbus Police say that, due to today’s rain, they have closed Pride for the night.
— Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) June 20, 2015
Previous: Pride 2015 Weekend Preview 6/18/15
Friday marks the start of one of the biggest weekends of the year for the city of Columbus…Pride 2015.
With approximately 400,000 people expected in attendance over the next three days, Columbus Pride is the second largest such celebration of the LGBTQ community in the midwest. The fun begins at 4pm on Friday with the start of the festival in Goodale Park. Stonewall Columbus Executive Director Karla Rothan tells us to expect the area to be packed with entertainment, vendors (food, beer and otherwise), and various organizations (activists, churches and otherwise). Karla says that Columbus Pride serves as a major source of income for our local Stonewall…accounting for nearly 25% of the organization’s funding. So they count on the generosity of attendees and revelers throughout the weekend.
As always, festival goers can count on plenty of entertainment. Among the weekend’s performers will be country music singer Billy Gilman and former ‘Voice’ contestants Michelle Chamuel and Jess Gallo.
The parade steps off at 11am Saturday morning at Front and Broad Streets. Expect thousands of spectators to line the route up High Street to Buttles and toward the park. This year’s grand marshall is Jim Obergefell. Jim and his late husband Arthur’s case are one of the matters currently before the Supreme Court as it considers the legality of state same-sex marriage bans. A decision in Jim and Arthur’s favor would be a monumental event in the fight for marriage equality…to say the least.
The weekend closes out on Sunday with the sold-out Pride Brunch. The event will feature a celebration of Jim, Arthur and all of the marriage equality cases currently in front of the Supreme Court.
Schedule of Pride Highlights:
- Friday, June 19th – Festival (4pm-11pm)
- Saturday, June 20th – Parade (Step-off at 11am)
- Saturday, June 20th – Festival (11am-8pm)
- Sunday, June 21st – Pride Brunch (11am-1pm)
Festival admission is free. For a complete rundown of the weekend’s entertainment schedule and other activities, check out the event website. And Happy Pride! (jj)
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