Back to the Basics’ for Pride

If you’ve been following Camp for the last six months, you know that there will be changes this year from the big Pride festivals as you’ve known them at the parks and the Power & Light District in Kansas City. This year’s location is Westport Road, and the festival will be May 31 and June 1.
The theme is “Back to the Basics,” organized by the Kansas City Diversity Coalition (KCDC), a group formed by the merger of the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of Kansas City and Show Me Pride LLC. (See “CampBiz” and “Musicality” for more details on the event.)
Early on, there was some confusion as to where or when the Pride festival would take place. Not seeing any plan for the 2013 festival in late 2012, Hamburger Mary’s took the lead to secure street permits to close off Baltimore Street next door to its establishment and host a big three-day Pride weekend in June to benefit the LIKE ME Lighthouse. When KCDC announced its plans in March to work with the gay bars and produce the event on Westport Road, Hamburger Mary’s canceled its plans for an outdoor street festival. Instead, they have planned a three-day Pride weekend May 31-June 2 with events inside their establishment, still benefiting our LGBT center, the LIKEME Lighthouse. In the meantime, our gay bars have also been planning Pride events in their establishments and they are working with KCDC on the Friday night StreetBlast in Westport and the Saturday Pride street fair.
It’s a bit different than other years, but let’s see how it goes. Watch for the next issue of Camp, where we’ll recap the good and the bad. We wish all the groups, volunteers and organizers of Pride events well. It’s often a thankless job.
We welcome your feedback if you’d like to submit your opinion of the Pride festival for our July issue. Send letters to jlong@campkc.com.
For those looking for more Pride festivals in the area, there are several to choose from. St. Joseph, Mo., has announced its first Pride festival, to be held June 8 (Facebook: “St. Joe Pride”). Flint Hills Pride is June 14-16 at the Acorns Resort, Milford Lake, Kan. (Facebook “Flint Hills Pride”). Topeka will celebrate Topeka Pride on June 17-19 (Facebook: Topeka Pride). Eureka Springs Pride is June 21-22 (http://www.gayeurekasprings.com). And of course the huge St. Louis PrideFest will be held June 29-30 (www. pridestl.org).
Out in the Crossroads
One of the best times to have an outdoor street fair is during the cool weather of October. To take advantage of that weather — and to commemorate LGBT History Month and National Coming Out Day — Camp will be working with Hamburger Mary’s Kansas City on a new event in October called “Out in the Crossroads.”
Jeff Edmondson of Hamburger Mary’s has outlined his plans for Out in the Crossroads: “It will be a street festival-type event and will be held on Baltimore Avenue between 19th Street and 20th Street. The dates will be Oct. 4-5, 2013. A main stage will feature a strong lineup of LGBT organizations, artists, and performers throughout the weekend. A vendors’ market will also be available for patrons of the event.”
Vendors interested in information about the market can email Jeff Edmondson, general manager at Hamburger Mary’s KC, at barefootguy1966@gmail.com. More information will be posted on the event’s website (www.outinthecrossroads.com) and Facebook page (facebook.com/outinthecrossroads) before the end of June, Edmondson said.

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