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Community Spotlight: Main Street Celebrates Pride Month

June 30, 2022 | Community Spotlight: Main Street Celebrates Pride Month | By: Marta Olmos, Communications Coordinator at Main Street America | 
NWPA Pride Alliance Pridefest and Parade in downtown Erie. Photo credit: Dave Tamulonis, Events Manager at Erie Downtown Partnership.

Erie Downtown Partnership

Erie Pridefest and Parade was hosted by the NWPA Pride Alliance in downtown Erie. The Main Street program assisted with event promotion. This was the first Pride event since COVID cancelled the 2020 event. The parade saw about 5,000 attendees from all over the region march in a mile-long parade from The Zone Dance Club on 18th Street to Downtown Erie’s Perry Square Park. The event also featured resource tables, local vendors, free health screenings, and a Youth Zone.

Emporia Main Street

Emporia supported the wide range of local Pride offerings by creating a centralized platform on their website where residents could find a complete list of all local Pride events. The events included a parade, drag shows, trivia competitions, and more. Emporia Main Street promoted the platform, and the events, on their social media and email newsletter. The page is available here. Emporia Main Street also partnered with the Emporia High School GSA to create an Emporia PRIDE t-shirt, which were sold in their office and online. Profits from the t-shirts went to support community initiatives from Emporia Main Street and Bloom House, a local nonprofit that serves at-risk and homeless youth. Emporia Main Street also created and sold Pride stickers, which will be available year-round. “We believe our community is for everyone, and Emporia Main Street is eager to partner with individuals, organizations, and businesses to make that a reality,” said Jessica Buchholz, community development coordinator at Emporia Main Street.

Downtown Frederick Partnership

In June 2022, The Frederick Center worked with Frederick Book Arts to print "Protect Trans Kids" onto Pride flags. The Downtown Frederick Partnership coordinated with them to distribute the flags, free of charge, to downtown businesses, who displayed them throughout the month of June. More than 60 flags were distributed and displayed throughout Downtown Frederick, creating a welcoming and affirming environment in celebration of Pride Month.

Main Street Macon

“In downtown Macon, we are full of pride,” said Hailie Poppel, Digital Content Manager at Main Street Macon. Although they host their annual Pride festival in September to beat the Georgia heat, they still participate in June Pride through their ‘DineOUT’ and ‘ShopOUT for Pride!’ fundraisers with local businesses in collaboration with Macon Pride. “This event is great because the entire community comes out to build unity and allyship,” said Scott Mitchell, president of Macon Pride and Main Street Macon board member. “It is an easy way for the community to show support by doing the things they would normally do on a Tuesday... shop, eat, get a massage!”

Downtown Billings Alliance

Billings Pride featured a week of exciting events including LGBTQ+ resources, a community clean-up, a parade, a drag queen story hour, social events at local restaurants and businesses, and more! Downtown Billings Alliance served as a consultant for the event. “We assisted because we felt it is important to help them host their event in the downtown core as we strive as an organization to make downtown Billings a model of inclusion,” said Lindsay Richardson, Community Engagement and Events Director at Downtown Billings Alliance.

Left to right: (1) Debbie Does Drag, a local drag performer, with some fans in West Perry Square. Photo credit: Dave Tamulonis, Events Manager at Erie Downtown Partnership. (2) A customized Pride flag flies outside of the Downtown Frederick Partnership office. Photo courtesy of Downtown Frederick Partnership. (3) In downtown Macon we say gay! Featured: Travis Jean Emporium, a Macon retailer. Photo credit: Macon Pride. (4) Billings Pride. Photo courtesy of the City of Billings Human Relations Committee.