Thursday, June 11, 2009

Motor City Pride Huge Success

Estimates for the total attendance at the 2009 Motor City Pride Festival held in Ferndale June 7th range from 40,000 (my estimate) to 50,000 (Between the Lines estimate), but regardless of the actual numbers, most everyone agrees it was the best ever. The seven hour street festival and party featured concerts, speeches, delicious food, non-profit booths promoting health, religion, political action, and community service. The restaurants and pubs were packed all day and the beer tent was as popular as ever.

Probably everyone's favorite activity during this annual gathering is the people-watching, although most agreed the event was tamer than usual. The feather bedecked drag queens and men in leather were few and far between. The mild weather also seems to have kept the crowds more fully dressed than previous years. Long pants vastly outnumbered the shorts and hot pants common to such summer events.

Reports are that there was only one arrest during the entire event, which is quite low considering the size and length of the festival. Compared to a similar sized concert or festival or DreamCruise day, the safety record is remarkable. Only one person suffered a a personal health incident, again quite low for a day-long summer festival.

The few problems that did occur were the result of a couple of "bad apples". While thousands enjoyed the music and socializing, there are always a few who drink too much, or try and act-out.
After the festival was over, at least one woman had her expensive sunglasses stolen by a youth, and at least one fight broke out later that night outside a bar. Such is human nature and our society.

The Ferndale City Police, the Police Auxiliary, the Public Works staffers, and the Fire Department personnel were magnificent; as is usual they were professional, hard working, and helpful.

The event is about people from a community gathering to have fun and show their pride. In that we succeeded. As this first such festival of our all-too-short summer ends, we look forward to the other annual gatherings that will take place over the next four months.


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