Last month Pride 2017 broke records for the Wichita Pride organization. There were events over the course of a week. Attendance at all the events, with the exception of the Block Party, were up from prior years making the 2017 Pride festival the most successful to date.
This year, Pride helped to host the National Equality March. The Equality March was held in over 116 cities and five different countries. For the Wichita Equality March, there was over 400 people who marched down Douglas Ave. on Sunday, June 11. Pride looks forward to hosting the Equality March again next year.
A new event was added this year. Find Your Pride scavenger hunt. Pride had 12 teams at the XY bar. It was a blast. Pride is looking to expand this event again for next year by adding something for families.
Pride Family Picnic was the largest ever, with about 300 people. The food provided by Cargill was awesome. The kids had a wonderful time with the water guns. Everyone was wet by the time the picnic ended. Pride looks forward to next year by having more games for everyone during the picnic.
Pride revamped their Block Party making it more an all-age/youth dance party. While the numbers were less than last year, Pride is looking at ways to make this event better and bigger next year.
The rally and parade drew in a record crowd of about 500 people. The parade had the most entries ever and Pride is looking at ways to make it even larger next year. It just added to the parade to have the Grand Marshall’s being the Wichita Police Department LGBT liaisons. Officers Rusco and Kimball have been working with the community since the inception of the liaison position and it was great to have them represent the community and Pride this year. This year was also the first time to have a Youth Representative (please see article in this Liberty Press for more about Jonathan Cooley).
The final event was the Festival held again at the Mid-America All-Indian Center. There were about 1,800 people at the event. Look toward next year being even bigger.
Pride would like to thank all those that participated in this year’s event. For the first time in a long time all the bars and clubs were involved in some way shape or form. The bars and Pride are looking forward to more involvement together next year.
Pride has one more major event coming up this year. Called “The Return To Fantasy” it is being held Sept. 30 at the old Fantasy Complex. This will be an event for everyone, including families and children.
If you would like to be involved with Pride, you are more than welcome to join any of the committees that are putting together next year’s events. Pride welcomes everyone and would love to hear input from the community on what they would like to see in the future. Please check the Pride Facebook page and website for dates and times of future meetings.
And thank you to all of you in the Wichita community for supporting this year’s Pride because without you there would be no Pride. Pride looks forward to seeing you at the next event.
Nolin Christensen, treasurer
Wichita Pride, Inc.