About Columbus Pride 2019
Columbus Pride is one of the biggest events celebrating the LGBTI community in the midwest. Columbus, Ohio is a growing city with a metropolitan population of over 2,000,000, and is a key part of the in the lesbian and gay scenes of the region. LGBTI identity has been a core part of Columbus’s identity for several decades now, and the Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival and Parade are a key part of that identity.
Established in 1981 to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, Columbus Pride wasn’t always the major event it is today. Early iterations of the “Ohio-Michigan Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade,” as it was called during the 1980’s, attracted anywhere from 200 to 4,000 attendees, marching, as they said, for “pride and human dignity.” Marchers today carry on that legacy.
The event has grown a lot since 1981. On June 11, the front of city hall lights up in preparation for the event, and people from across the region come to experience the community and love. It is a truly massive occasion, taking place over three days from June 15th to the 17th.
The largest of these events is the festival. Over 180 vendors are represented at the festival, in addition to a host of musical acts putting on live performances. Past festivals have included local acts like Liberty Deep Down, the Parker Louis Band, BreeTheRapper, and many others. There is also an amateur drag contest that takes place during the festival where performers can show off their creativity and style.
This is followed by the parade on the 16th. The Pride Parade is itself a huge event. Over 12,000 marchers and 215 organizations marched in support of gay pride in 2017. In the past, the parade has also featured major figures like Star Trek actor George Takei and landmark civil defendant Jim Obergefell as parade marshall.
Finally, the event is concluded in proper on the 17th with a brunch, which also features live entertainment from artists like the Richard Lopez Trio and Brenda Tucker. Brunch tickets do require advance booking, however, so be sure to make reservations early.
If all that wasn’t enough, there are many other events throughout the month where people can show their support for gay pride, such as the Pride Poker Run, Bicycle Run, and 5k Run. In many ways, Pride is a months-long event-- a perfect opportunity to come out and show support for the gay and lesbian communities.