Ferndale Pride 2011 Announced to Complement Detroit Event
The activities are not meant to compete, Oakland County Commissioner and organizer Craig Covey says. 'We're just keeping the tradition going in Ferndale.'
Just because Motor City Pride is moving from Ferndale to Detroit's Hart Plaza, that doesn't mean Ferndale is shutting off the lights that weekend in June. A variety of events under the title Ferndale Pride 2011 is being planned for before and after the Detroit event.
"In no way is this meant to compete with Motor City Pride, but will actually complement it," Oakland County Commissioner Craig Covey said. "We'll have pre-festival events and nighttime events."
Ferndale Pride events are scheduled for June 3-5 while Motor City Pride will take place June 4-5 in Hart Plaza.
"This is not an either/or question," said Covey, the former mayor of Ferndale. "I've been involved in 35 years of pride work. Pride is celebrated across the globe with multiple events. We're just keeping the tradition going in Ferndale."
The event will have "three parades and marches, rallies, downtown strolling, alley dallies, late night shopping and patio theme parties," Covey said. (See details below.)
Covey said the wheels started turning in January when he learned the gay pride event, which had taken place in Ferndale for the last 10 years, decided to move to Detroit. He started meeting with organizations and disappointment turned into interest. "I conferred with all the gay organizations in the region," he said. "I met with the gay Latino groups, gay Arabic groups, the Black Pride Society. (Ferndale Pride) didn't happen in a vacuum. … Every person I've talked to, to a person, supported this event."
Mayor Dave Coulter said Ferndale Pride will be a great accompaniment to Motor City Pride. "(Ferndale Pride) activities will be before and after (Motor City Pride) and will bring people back to Ferndale," Coulter said. "A lot of thanks goes out to Craig (Covey) for organizing this in such quick fashion."
Coulter said the city isn't officially sponsoring Ferndale Pride, but he'll be supporting it. "This will be a great way to help our business and restaurants," the mayor said.
Covey also met with the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce, Michigan AIDS Coalition, Ferndale Community Foundation, Affirmations, Al Gamea, Hazel Park Friends and the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority.
"We're working with them, getting organized," DDA Director Cristina Sheppard-Decius said. "Happy to be a partner in promoting that weekend."
Late night shopping will accompany Ferndale Pride during the weekend for downtown businesses. "This will be an opportunity for retailers and just another element of fun and excitement for our downtown," Sheppard-Decius said.
"This is truly a grass roots, from the ground up event," Covey said. "We're going to have a lot of neat events."
Covey said he's in the process of bringing people on board to volunteer and help implement the plan. Most events will be free of charge. Sponsorship opportunities are available and proceeds will benefit Affirmations, Michigan AIDS Coalition, Ferndale Community Foundation and the Dyke March.
Details of Ferndale Pride 2011
A "We Are Family" LGBT pride parade is scheduled for June 3 at 6 p.m. The participants will begin in the alley behind the businesses on the north side of West Nine Mile Road, ending at City Hall lawn for "a social, cultural and political rally." Then starting at 8:30 p.m., a "Night March" is planned to assemble in the parking lot of the Gerry Kulick Community Center, also ending on the front lawn of City Hall for a second rally.
Also on June 3, not-for-profit organizations and charities will pair up with local businesses for outreach and promotion, and business will be invited to stay open late.
On June 4, the second annual "Dyke March" is scheduled to go through downtown Ferndale in the early afternoon with a rally at Geary Park. Additionally, the 11th annual Gay Union Ceremony hosted by Metro Community Church or Detroit and Equality Michigan is also expected to take place in Ferndale during the weekend.
Throughout June 3-5, various events in clubs and bars, patio parties and tea dances, along with “alley dallies” are planned. Up to 10 bars and clubs participating include Como’s, Dino’s Lounge, Rosie O’Grady’s, Soho, Danny’s Irish Pub, the Loving Touch. Details are not yet available.