May 11, 2009 -Quad Cities/Iowa-Illinois - The Greater Quad Cities Area PRIDE Fest '09 celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender ("LGBT") Pride with a variety of events during June PRIDE Month and PRIDE Week, Sunday, June 21 - Sunday, June 28. The international theme for PRIDE this year is "Your Rights, Our Rights, Human Rights." Says QC PRIDE co-chair, Rev. Rich Hendricks, "We've expanded on that theme locally by playing on the reality of change in Iowa and the possibilities for change in Illinois law --and with a reminder of last years' quite windy PRIDE day in coming up with a QC PRIDE '09 theme of 'Winds of Change.'"
Events will take place highlighting LGBT contributions to the community throughout the month of June. There will be LGBT displays at nearly all of the local public libraries, special art exhibits, history exhibits, informational forums, music and poetry exhibitions. The Pride Month Kickoff Event, "Touched by the Hand of God: Michelangelo's Models," celebrates on of history's most famous gay artists and will be held at the Figge Art Museum on June 2 with a special reception at 6:30 p.m. A Pride Guide will be published soon when event details and sponsors have been confirmed.
Sunday, June 21 begins PRIDE Week, with an Interfaith Picnic of Affirming Churches and their allies at LeClaire Park from 2 - 3:30 pm with a brief Worship Service 3:30 - 4 pm. Everyone is then invited to gather at 4 pm at LeClaire Park for Colors-Across-the-River for Equality (CARE) in support of equal rights for LGBT persons. This will involve displaying 1,000 rainbow pride flags and over 500 people lining the Centennial Bridge over the Mississippi River! Some are calling it "Rainbows Across the River," but whatever you call it, it will be a historic event! Persons will be able to participate for free and can keep their own Pride Flag for just $5. Participants are asked to sign up on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=52815401781
Gay comedian, Brian Bradley will be performing at Penguin's Comedy Club on Thursday, Friday and Saturday during PRIDE Week, and there will be a Freighthouse Pride Patio Party on Wednesday, June 24, followed by a dance at Club Fusion.
Culminating QC PRIDE Week will be the big festival on Saturday, June 27 at LeClaire Park on the Davenport riverfront. The Saturday PrideFest will include live music, vendors, food and beverages. Headlining the list of entertainers for the Bandshell will be Daphne Willis, Bumber Crop, Ronnie Niles and Funktastic Five. Last year nearly 900 people attended QC PrideFest '08, which featured 12 area nonprofit sponsors and numerous local business sponsors. "We had 45 vendors last year and plan to double that number this year, as well as to increase sponsorship by local businesses," says PRIDE Co-Chair, Jeff Simpson. Mary's on 2nd will host an "Over the Rainbow" Pride Party after the PrideFest.
Vendor booths of 10' X 10' are available for $50 ($60 if electricity is required) and include two free admissions. Admission to the Saturday PRIDE fest is $10 by advance ticket purchase or $15 at the gate. Contact Rich Hendricks at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets will be available mid-April from area nonprofits, key downtown Davenport merchants or on-line now at DavenportOne.com. A children's area with games and activities is also planned.
The lesbian rock group Halcyon will also be appearing at the Redstone Room in downtown Davenport on Sunday, June 28th to close out Pride Month activities.
QC PRIDE was started by Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad Cities with support from many outstanding nonprofit organizations, who also benefit by raising funds at PrideFest and by getting their message out to the public, including: Quad Citians Affirming Diversity, AIDS Project Quad Cities, DeLaCerda House, OneIowa, Equality Illinois, Progressive Action for the Common Good, QC Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, and the Davenport Civil Rights Commission.
PRIDE festivities throughout the United States commemorate three nights of civil unrest known as the Stonewall riots. These riots occurred in late June 1969 in response to official harassment by the New York Police Department and are considered the birth of the movement for equal rights and liberation for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
Sponsored in part by Genesis Health System, Mary's on 2nd, Lujack's Northpark Auto Plaza, The Freighthouse, Redstone Room, Wells Fargo Bank, Augie's on 20th and more.
IOWA: Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain
Your Rights, Our Rights, Human Rights