Itï¿½s not too early to start planning your schedule for the Kansas City Pride festival. This yearï¿½s theme is ï¿½Power of Pride.ï¿½ Weï¿½re listing the schedule and entertainment lineup as it stands at press time, a month before Pride. Look for more details and any changes to this schedule in the June Pride issue of Camp, which will publish May 25.
The festival itself centers on the June 1-3 weekend, but events are also scheduled for the week before, as they have been in past years. In addition, some events are earlier in May, including the ï¿½Reunite the Rainbowï¿½ event on May 6 at Ultra Lounge.
The Royalty Court pageant will be hosted and organized by Sidekicks on May 10. Rick Bumgardner, president of Show Me Pride, said, ï¿½Thatï¿½s where itï¿½s moved to this year because Belle Starr started it, she made me aware of that this year. So we went to her and said, ï¿½Would you like to take the event? Weï¿½ll turn it over to you.ï¿½ And she said, ï¿½Iï¿½d love that.ï¿½ï¿½
The youth royalty court was held in December 2011 at Spirit of Hope MCC. Bumgardner said the beauty of having the pageant early is that the youth royalty court members can perform on Tuesdays at Hamburger Maryï¿½s, so by Pride weekend, they will feel rehearsed and more comfortable to perform in front of 5,000 people on stage at the Pride festival.
The event formerly called ï¿½Dress to Impressï¿½ will have a new name this year that was still being determined at press time. It will be May 17 in the Garment District, as a benefit for the Dave Anders scholarship fund. There will be entertainment and more. with details available on Prideï¿½s website.
Pride has national and local entertainers in the lineup, including Jennifer Holliday, Cazwell and the Ice Cream Truck Boys, Inaya Day, Pepper Mashay, Robin S., Big Bad Gina, Summer Osborne and more. In late May, they plan to announce the name of a big-name entertainer whom they hope to bring to the festival on Sunday.
Bumgardner has said they have also reached out to Latino Gay Pride and Black Gay Pride for their participation this year, and heï¿½s planning on doing something with both groups at the Friday night StreetBlast. Admission to the festival for each dayï¿½s events is free, for the most part. The Friday night StreetBlast only charges for a $5 wristband to drink; otherwise itï¿½s free. The pool party at the Jones pool on Saturday is $10 for an all-day pass. And admission to the evening entertainment on Saturday is $15 after 6 p.m.
Bumgardner said theyï¿½ve brought the Friday night StreetBlast back to the streets for a couple of reasons. He had heard from many in the community that they preferred the event to be held on the street rather than in the Power & Light District. However, he also said that closing off the Power & Light ï¿½Liveï¿½ area for both Friday and Saturday nights was difficult.
ï¿½They didnï¿½t want us to charge Friday and Saturday nights in a row, which I think is perfectly wonderful on their part because they are the free entertainment district. For them to let us privatize it even for one night is a feat, and we canï¿½t afford to bring in entertainment for Friday night if weï¿½re not charging some sort of fee. Friday nights on the streets is the way itï¿½s always happened. Youï¿½ll pay that $5 for that wristband and the way we make our money is by the sales of alcohol.ï¿½
Also new this year is that the rally/march will be on the street, rather than the sidewalk this year.
ï¿½Actually weï¿½re going to get a parade application and close the streets. We actually illegally walked on the street last year, and I called the folks at Public Works this year and said, ï¿½If weï¿½re just marching, do we need a parade permit?ï¿½ and Brian said, ï¿½You do, technically.ï¿½ So I said OK, weï¿½ll come do that.ï¿½
Bumgardner said although theyï¿½re closing the street, theyï¿½re not offering it as a parade with floats because theyï¿½ve had difficulty getting people to participate with floats in the past.
ï¿½One of the things I learned from Gilbert Baker [creator of the rainbow flag and Prideï¿½s walk/march national marshal in 2010> when he was here was, donï