KALAMAZOO — Event goers celebrating diversity at the 6th annual Kalamazoo Pride event will be able to raise a glass of Bell’s beer while dancing and singing to an entertainment lineup headlined by Chicago-based Kimi Hayes, back by popular demand.
This year’s event, presented by Bell’s Brewery, Inc., will span two days, beginning with a White Party at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 14, where everyone is encouraged to dress in all white. The main event is Saturday, June 15, starting at 2 p.m., with more than 75 vendors, food trucks, and plenty of cold beverage options to keep the fun going all afternoon. Visitors can browse through ‘vendor alley’ and listen to live music including a DJ, Hannaniah and the Boys and Kimi Hayes.
Bell’s will also debut a new beer at this year’s Pride — Sparkleberry — a blend of Sparkling Ale and Raspberry Ale.
“Diversity is a vital component of our philosophy and this event reflects that as well as our continued support of organizations that work to strengthen our community and bring people together,” said Laura Bell, Marketing Director and co-owner of Bell’s Brewery.
With a continuously-expanding event like this, Kalamazoo Pride is pleased to have achieved the excellence and professionalism that businesses like Bell’s aim to be associated with, said Zachary Bauer, Executive Director of the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center, the organization that coordinates Kalamazoo Pride.
“We are tremendously pleased to welcome such a wonderful local company as presenting sponsor. It is clear to us that Bell’s investment in our LGBT community is sending a message that things must change and that diversity is no longer an option but a must!” added Bauer.
Last year, 11,000 people descended on the Arcadia Creek Festival Site in downtown Kalamazoo for Pride, the largest fundraiser of the year for the KGLRC.
“This year, Kalamazoo Pride 2013 has expanded to an entire weekend of celebrating diversity, complete with Friday and Saturday events, including some that are still in the planning stages, as well as a post-Pride bunch,” shares Bauer. “We plan to deliver a weekend full of community events, highlighting the diversity, accomplishments, contributions to society and entertainment by and for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals as well as their friends, families and allies.
The popular ‘vendor alley’ will feature affirming and inclusive organizations and businesses as well as tempting food and beverage vendors from all over Southwest Michigan. Additionally, family friendly-activities will take place in and near the youth tent area, including a speaker from TruthLocker who will discuss issues and solutions related to cyber bullying.
Kalamazoo Pride is offering a two-day admission pass for $10, or separate cover charges are $5 for Friday and $7 to enter on Saturday. Kids 12 and under are free.
“All Kalamazoo Pride events seek to show that we’re proud of who we are and that we can all stand together as part of the greater Southwest Michigan community, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender orientation or socioeconomic status,” says Bauer.
ABOUT THE KALAMAZOO GAY LESBIAN RESOURCE CENTER
For more than twenty years the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center—a non-profit, charitable organization—has sought to serve the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and allied community of southwest Michigan. We started in 1987 with the Lesbian/Gay Resource Line and then began sponsoring a youth group in 1992. We have sought to inform and entertain members of our community and their allies and to educate the persuadable public of the realities of what it means to be LGBT at this time in this place. We have sponsored film festivals, documentary film series, book discussion groups, events in honor of Pride month and Women’s History month, lectures, readings, and more. Much of our recent work has centered on youth programming and addressing the ramifications of bullying. And we like to have fun too! We also provide social events where the LGBT population of southwest Michigan can gather for networking, friendship and more. We look forward to continued growth, expansion and creating a community that celebrates the diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity.
ABOUT BELL’S BREWERY, INC.
Bell’s Brewery, Inc. began in 1985 with a quest for better beer and a 15 gallon soup kettle. Since then, we’ve grown into a regional craft brewery that employs more than 200 people over an 18 state area, in addition to Puerto Rico and Washington DC. The dedication to brewing flavorful, unfiltered, quality craft beers that started in 1985 is still with us today. We currently brew over 20 beers for distribution as well as many other small batch beers that are served at our pub in Kalamazoo, the Eccentric Cafe. Our ongoing goal is to brew thoughtfully, creatively and artistically. We strive to bring an authentic and pleasant experience to all of our customers through our unique ales and beers.