Ferndale Pride 2012 June 14 through 17
(Ferndale) The Gay community will once again celebrate its heritage and pride across Ferndale next week as thousands are expected for the annual street festival, a “Light the Night Against Hate” educational event, the annual “Dyke March”, a 5 K run, and multiple concerts, bar and club parties from June 14 through Sunday June 17th. Last week, Ferndale City Council declared June “Gay Pride Month” for the thirteenth year in a row, and the Oakland County Commission will proclaim the same at its June meeting.
Events begin on Thursday June 14 with “Dino’s Back Alley”, a pre-glow kickoff party in the newly renovated alley and patio/garden behind Dino’s Bar and Grill from 8 pm until 1 am.
Friday June 15 is the “Light the Night Against Hate” walk through downtown ferndale. Up to 16 ethnic and advocacy groups will provide speakers with educational presentations about bullying, hate crimes, and cultural tolerance in the strolling, family-friendly event. Organizations representing youth, GLBT groups, Latino, Asian, Arabic and African Americans groups, along with women’s and civil liberties groups, will share their experiences at locations around the city and educate people about their own cultures. People will gather at the city park at W. Nine Mile and Planavon between 8:30 pm and 10 pm for this walk.
Saturday June 16 is the third annual “Dyke March”, which begins at 2 pm near the Rust Belt market at Woodward and W. Nine Mile road for a march to Geary Park for a 2:30 pm rally and concert.
Sunday morning June 17th is the first annual “Rainbow Run”. This event features a 5K and 2K run or walk through neighborhood streets put on by the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce. Volunteers will be stationed along the course to throw a natural powdered paint at the runners in the colors of the rainbow.
The big event is the street festival on W. Troy, beginning at noon. The festival includes 60 booths of organizations and vendors, food trucks, beer gardens, and concerts all day long. Multiple elected officials, including area mayors, commissioners, and representatives will help climax the Rainbow Run and open the festival with the release of 1,000 balloons in colors of the rainbow, a long time symbol of Gay Pride on stage at noon. Being Father’s Day, a tribute to fathers, including Gay fathers as well as fathers of Gay people, will take place on stage at 3 pm.
Sponsors of the events include Motor City Casino Hotel, Suburban Buick GMC, Rosie O’Grady’s, One Eyed Betty’s, Orchid Nightclub, Comerica Bank, Danny’s Irish Pub, Dino’s, the Ferndale DDA, Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce, Affirmations, Green Thumb Garden Center, the Bosco, the Oakland, Soho, Woodward Ave. Brewers, Comos, Oakland County Parks and Recreation, and dozens of other businesses and organizations.
Other colorful events include the infamous annual “Bears Car Wash” Saturday afternoon at Level One Bank, church dinners, a GLBT design confab at Affirmations Thursday June 14th, and an afterglow Sunday night at the new Orchid Nightclub in downtown Ferndale.
Full information on all of these events is available at the website www.ferndalepride.com and on Facebook at Ferndale Pride. Up to ten thousand people are expected to attend the events over the four day period.
Downtown Ferndale will be festooned with a hundred rainbow pride flags during the lead up to the weekend.
June is the month that Gay Pride is celebrated worldwide. This month is the 43rd anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which occurred in New York City in June, 1969. Those protests sparked the beginning of the modern Gay rights movement.