Marquette hosts U.P.’s first Pride Fest Saturday

MARQUETTE — The Upper Peninsula will be home tomorrow to a first-of-its-kind event tomorrow that has been more than a year in the making.

Upper Peninsula Rainbow Pride is hosting Pride Fest 2014 at Tourist Park in Marquette Saturday.  There have been some previous attempts to organize pride events in the U.P., but this is the first such attempt to get off the ground.

“When we’ve talked about this during planning, a lot of people have said ‘It’s about time.  Thank you, it’s been about time,” Pride Fest co-chair Pam Johnson said.  “We just want people to know they can come out.”

Anyone interested is welcome to attend. Johnson and co-chair David Shew say the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the U.P. is afraid at times.

“We’re not trying to be pushy,” Johnson said.  “We’re just trying to be together and make people feel included and safe, and just bring awareness that it’s okay to be who you are.”

A free screening of the movie Stonewall is taking place in NMU’s Jamrich Hall Friday night.  That’s followed by an informal party at the Ore Dock Brewery.

The Pride Fest begins with a rally at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Marquette Commons, followed by a walk to Tourist Park.  Events continue at the park until 11 p.m., including live music, games and activities for kids, and a drag show.