The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that Up North Pride’s annual week of celebration has arrived. Some highlights:
Pandemic-related concerns forced the organization that advocates for LGBTQ issues to go all-digital for its annual event in 2020 and postpone any in-person activities, organization President Nick Viox said. That postponement depended on the number of vendors and when the organization was able to do it. With lockdowns ending in fall 2020, the organization put together a number of art exhibits called “Catharsis” for Pride Month in June, then opted for a bigger celebration in October.
That was both to give volunteers time to plan and in keeping with the trend from other pride celebrations around the state, Viox said.
“We are excited to have our community back together to see the faces, because what to me is one of the best parts of Up North Pride are the faces of pride, and seeing the community come out for one another and seeing us find a place together,” he said.
…Pride Celebration starts with Pride Ride, a quick two-wheeled jaunt through downtown Traverse City in partnership with El Grupo Norte, according to Up North Pride. It starts at F&M Park at 5 p.m., leaves 15 minutes later and ends at Little Fleet where the annual sign-making party starts at 6 p.m. There will be supplies, courtesy of Ampersand Letting Lab, to make posters for Saturday’s visibility march.
…On Saturday, Dharamsala Yoga in Traverse City will host a vinyasa flow class for any level, BYO-yoga mat, at 10:30 a.m. Space is limited and can be reserved online at www.upnorthpride.com/events.
Later on Saturday, the annual Pride Picnic is at F&M Park from 1-4 p.m., complete with live music, kids activities and food vendors. That’s followed by the Visibility March, starting with a rally at the park at 4 p.m. then down Front Street to the Open Space from 5-5:30 p.m.
There, BenDeLaCreme of RuPaul’s Drag Race will headline Drag Night from 6-10 p.m. with local and regional performers (the organizers recommend parental guidance).
The night closes out with a silent disco from 10 p.m. to midnight, with 2 Bays Productions cranking tunes over wireless headphones for after-hours dancing.
The Big Gay Brunch will close Pride Celebration Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Open Space. Traverse Symphony Orchestra will play cabaret music and a handful of vendors will sell food and drinks.
photo courtesy Up North Pride on Facebook