MARQUETTE — A special annual event for the LGBTQ community in the Upper Peninsula is happening this weekend at Tourist Park in Marquette.

U.P. Pride Fest will take place on Saturday, September 14, from noon until 10:00 p.m. This is the 6th annual Pride Fest put on by Upper Peninsula Rainbow Pride, an LGBTQ nonprofit organization based out of Marquette. Michael Bradford, Secretary of Upper Peninsula Rainbow Pride, says this event is all about bringing people together.

“Basically what we’re doing is just trying to create a community,” said Bradford. “Not just for LGBTQ, but the community as a whole, just to help people gain perspective. And we just have a lot of fun at the same time. We have nonprofit organizations that try to educate people on both the health and social aspects of the community, we have a lot of retail vendors so you can buy some of our merchandise, as well as the entertainment. That’s what really draws people to Tourist Park.”

This year’s Pride Fest will feature singers, a drag show with both experienced and local amateur performers, food, and other activities. Bradford says this festival has been crafted to be an event that anyone in the area can enjoy, and that this is part of what makes U.P. Pride Fest different from other pride events.

“It’s more built to incorporate the entire community,” said Bradford. “So really anybody, you don’t have to be a member of the LGBTQ community, you just want to go to a place that offers you music, food, games, really anything. Also what we’ve done this year is we’ve tried to make it more appropriate for children. We’ve incorporated a lot of activities, like painting, games, and so on, basically to create a Pride Fest that’s open to everyone.”

U.P. Pride Fest is free for anyone to attend. If you would like more information about the event, U.P. Rainbow Pride, or to help out at Saturday’s event, you can find more information here.