Covey, Volunteers Keep Gay Pride Alive in Ferndale with Festival
Ferndale Pride 2011 complements Motor City Pride, which moved from Ferndale to Detroit's Hart Plaza this year.
Although the annual Motor City Pride Festival has moved to Detroit's Hart Plaza this year, local Ferndale businesses, residents and friends of Ferndale have come together to sponsor and to support Ferndale Pride, a complementary gay pride festival for Motor City Pride, affirming once more that you just can’t hide Ferndale’s pride.
"We got together about 30 individuals, all volunteers, plus four co-chairs, and in 90 days pulled off a number of pretty neat and entertaining events all across Ferndale," Oakland County Commissioner Craig Covey said at Monday night's Ferndale City Council meeting.
Shortly after Covey had found out that Motor City Pride was moving the state's largest gay pride festival to Detroit's Hart Plaza, he quickly began planning an event here in Ferndale that could complement – before and after – the Motor City Pride.
Covey also announced that up to three shuttles would be taking eventgoers to and from the Motor City Pride.
“We solicited some (businesses), and some came to us,” said Julia Music, 32, who is co-chairing the Ferndale Pride with Covey, 56. Music added that individuals also came to Ferndale Pride with donations and offers to help out with the events in support of Ferndale Pride.
Local businesses sponsoring, supporting Ferndale Pride
"I guess we started talking about (sponsoring) at the same time," said Wendy Gross, 32, a manager and Ferndale Pride advocate at Rosie O'Grady's. "We have always been involved in Pride. It's a little sad for us to feel like we are going to lose out on being a part of (Motor City Pride) this year, so we are very happy to have Ferndale Pride."
"Absolutely, 199 percent in support of it," said Sicilia Greco, owner of Como's, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
"It's not fair for businesses," Greco said about the Motor City Pride moving to Detroit. "Maybe we should have stopped it, maybe we could have stopped it. So yes, I am very excited about Ferndale Pride."
Shortly after the Motor City Casino Hotel pulled its funding for the Woodward Dream Cruise – about $75,000 for the entertainment of the classic car and rock 'n' roll event in August – it was announced that the casino and hotel would sponsor Ferndale Pride.
"We were very fortunate that Motor City Casino Hotel came on as the main sponsor of Ferndale pride," Music told the Ferndale City Council on Monday night.
The casino is giving $8,500 to Ferndale Pride.
Ferndale Pride sponsors include: Motor City Casino Hotel, Bud Light, Dino’s Lounge, Loving Touch, Soho, Danny’s Irish Pub, Sneakers Pub, Green Thumb Gardening Center, the Candle Wick Shoppe, Ferndale Downtown Development Authority, Between the Lines – PrideSource and Metro Detroit Softball League Softball.
Ferndale Pride 2011 is free for all, Covey said.
To view the planned events, click here.