Pride March & Fest Record Turnout

from NW PA Pride Alliance

On June 24, 2017, Erie celebrated 25 years of Pride events with the 2017 Erie Pride March and Fest. It is estimated that about 750 people attended the festivities. Both local TV crews as well as the Erie Times News covered the event. MIC.com was back again this year to cover Erie Pride as part of the "Small City, Big Pride" series for Google.

About 270 people marched in the Pride Parade, which stepped up from the Zone Dance Club. Parade units included NW PA Pride Alliance, Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper (who was there with staff and her openly gay son, Nate), Trigon, LBT Women, GE Transportation GLBTA Alliance, Community United Church, TransFamily of NW PA, Eerie Roller Girls, Keystone Progress, Schember for Mayor committe, Temple Anshe Hesed, Mcdowell High School GSA, Planned Parenthood od PA Advocates, Erie Feminists United, Erie Sisters and Brothers, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality, and Pennsylvania Equality Project.

Pride Fest in Perry Square began with a presentation to long standing LGBT groups in the region, including Identity, Erie Sisters and Brothers, Trigon, Erie Gay News, Drenched Fur, and LBT Women of Erie, as welll as a lifetime achievement award to Michael Mahler. Entertainment included Snarebear, Michelle Michaels, Jill Jamison, Misty Michaels Kall, sing Matthew Crays, and the band Honest Mistake.

Recognitions of groups:

Identity:

Identity - Edinboro State College students Tim Goss, Harry Miller and Ted Matthews, along with others, started an organization for gay students which was called the Homophile League. Tim Goss also helped put together the first library for the group. Over the years, the organization has died out and then risen again and again. In 1983, Edinboro State College earned University status. Around 1980, the Edinboro Homophile League was renamed Edinboro Gay Organization (EGO), and in 1994 it was renamed Identity. It is the longest running LGBT entity in Erie county.

Erie Sisters and Brothers:

Erie Sisters and Brothers: Originally founded as Erie Sisters in September of 1991 by 5 area crossdressers, this group has provided support and social opportunities for the Transgender community. They also have been putting on the Lake Erie Gala in November of each year for over 15 years.

Trigon:

Trigon – Founded around December of 1992, when Penn State Behrend’s student government unanimously approved making this an official student organization, this group has hosted many events, including regional Gay Straight Alliance meetings, Safer Sex Cabaret to educate students and the general public, and others. Additionally, Trigon student Abbey Atkinson organized Erie Pride Weekend as a Trigon event from 2001 to 2003, which included the first ever Pride Parade.

Erie Gay News:

Erie Gay News – Originally published as Erie Gay Community Newsletter beginning in late December, 1992, EGN has published news and events for the regional LGBT community and is one of only 3 LGBT-focused print publications in the state.

Drenched Fur:

Drenched Fur: In the spring of 2005, Drenched Fur started as a simple idea; see if a couple dozen guys in the OH, NY, and PA bear communities want to enjoy an afternoon at Splash Lagoon Water Park here in Erie PA. Instant success quickly established it as an annual weekend event for 13 years and running. Each year Erie hosts around 250 guys from across the nation, as well as raising money for various charities as part of Drenched Fur for a relaxing weekend of fun activities.

LBT Women of Erie:

LBT Women of Erie: Became active in early 2008 to provide social opportunities for women. They also host an annual summer picnic and a holiday dinner, in addition to volunteering for other groups.

For the 4th consecutive year, Erie County Health Department and Community Health Net provided free HIV and STD testing as part of Erie County HIV Task Force. Info tables at Pride Fest included Adagio Health, American Cancer Society, American Civil Liberties Union of PA Northwest Chapter, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Canine Partners for Life, Community United Church, Crime Victim Center of Erie County, Drenched Fur, Eerie Roller Girls, Erie County Human Relations Commission, Erie County Suicide Prevention Task Force, Erie Vegan and Vegetarian Society, Families United Network, Inc., Lake Erie Counseling Associates, LBT Women, National Organization for Women, NWPA Chapter (NWPANOW), Pennsylvania Youth Congress, Persad Center, PNC Bank, SafeNet Center, TransFamily of NWPA Transgender Support Group, Whispering Lake Grove, and Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Erie, Vendors included adultmart, Chalk It Up!, Chinese Lagoon, Dream Weaver Star, Elite Jewelry By Jasmine, Gardens of Eternity, Le-Vel, Lily’s Land of Literacy (UBAM), LuLaRoe by Anita, Pampered Chef (Uncle Pete), Phoenix Rising, Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Adovcates, Rainbow Creations, Scentsy by Sharon, and The Cookielady

Photos

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2017 Major Donors - Thanks!

Rainbow

Erie County Department of Health (ECDH)

Violet

adultmart
Community Health Net
Dominic M. Sciamanda, D.O.
Hospice of Metropolitan Erie
Lion's Den Adult Super Store

Blue

Drenched Fur
Erie Gay News
Erie Sisters & Brothers Transgender Support Group
Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE)
Lake Erie Counseling Associates
UPMC Hamot

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