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Celebrating Pride: Grand Rapids Gears Up for the 2022 GR Pride Festival

As we enter Pride Month, Grand Rapids prepares for the annual GR Pride Festival and other events throughout the city
A pink t-shirt that says "West Michigan Pride"

A pink t-shirt that says "West Michigan Pride" /Terry Johnston

In June of 1988, the very first Pride Celebration in Grand Rapids was held in the downtown Monroe Ampitheater -- now known as Rosa Parks Circle. The event included live entertainment, informational booths, and a number of guest speakers. The celebration had no support from the local government and attendees were subjected to harrassment by unaccepting members of the public. However, smiles could be seen on faces throughout the ampitheater as members of the LGBTQ+ community gathered downtown to celebrate their Pride.

Now, 34 years later, the Grand Rapids Pride Festival is stronger than it has ever been. According to the Grand Rapids Pride Center, the event "has now grown into one of the largest one-day events in Grand Rapids," and seeks to:

"[Bring] LGBTQ community members, LGBTQ businesses, allies, and organizations together to celebrate diversity, inclusion, and celebrating who you are Proud to Be!"

The 2022 Grand Rapids Pride Festival will take place in-person on Saturday, June 18 from 12:00pm to 10:00pm in Calder Plaza. The event will feature food trucks, sensory spaces, and a beer garden. There will also be lots of live performances from local musical artists, comedians, and drag groups including, but not limited to:

There is no cost for admission, but donations will be accepted. Funds raised during the festival will go towards the Grand Rapids Rapids Pride Center's numerous resources and community support groups. For more information about the 2022 Pride Festival, visit the Grand Rapids Pride Center's website here.

In addition to the Pride Festival, there are a number of other events taking place in West Michigan during Pride Month. Harmony Pride, a drag show benefitting the Grand Rapids Pride Center, will take place on Saturday, June 25 at 9:00pm at Harmony Hall (on Grand Rapids' westside). 

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