For the first time, a Twin Cities suburb is celebrating the LGBTQ community with its own pride festival.
A private group of Golden Valley residents formed a committee with the goal of creating a family-friendly event.
The seven-member committee began meeting in early January with a vague idea of what it desired.
Five months later, details are emerging about the upcoming festival June 12.
Four faith congregations voiced interest in showing support through worship. Together, they will host an interfaith church service 10:30-11:45 a.m. at Brookview Park, 200 Brookview Pkwy.
“We’re hoping for a real nice crowd,” said Golden Valley Pride Festival founder Peter Knaeble.
Immediately following the service, festival activities will begin.
A local celebrity emcee will kick off the event at noon.
Various area musical talents such as Outloud, a 12-man subgroup of the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, Freedom Jazz! Big Band, a LGBT and allied concert, jazz and marching band, and The Sons, a cover band, will perform throughout the afternoon.
Food trucks such as Nonna Rosa’s, Bacon-Me-Crazy, New Bohemia and Culver’s will be on-site providing delicious treats.
Keynote speakers will include Tom Knabel, of the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest civil rights organization, and Phil Duran, of OutFront, an organization leading Minnesota toward LGBT equality.
Both will speak about timely LGBTQ issues.
There will also be a ‘Heads or Tails’ bead necklace raffle that is fun for all ages.
Beaded necklaces are $5 each. The winner earns half of the money collected from the game. Proceeds will help offset event costs.
Various area organizations will be represented at Golden Valley Pride Festival including Golden Valley Community Foundation, Golden Valley Historical Society, Valley of Peace Lutheran Church, Living in the Valley Events, Sanburg Learning Center, Twin Cities Pride, North East Roller Derby Youth, Annex Teen Clinic, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Outing Dementia, Rainbow Health Initiative, Sunrise Senior Living and General Mills’ Betty’s Family Inclusion Council to name a few.
An event like this is particularly important for Golden Valley because it has a prominent LGBTQ population and is sometimes referred to as Lavender Valley.
“We’re lifting up not only the LGBTQ community but the larger community,” said Golden Valley resident Larry Fonnest.
The event’s theme is “a celebration of community, family and friends.”
In addition to the festivities, Brookview playground and sand volleyball courts will be open for use.
“I think that it will be a good place for families to come, hang out and celebrate,” said Committee Member Kimberly Lang Sanberg.
News of the event is quickly spreading. The event’s Facebook page shows that 1,000 people are interested in what the event has to offer and more than 350 said they are attending.
The committee is still looking for sponsors, donations and volunteers.
Current sponsors include Spirit of Hope United Methodist Church, Golden Valley Community Foundation, Lakes Edina Realty, Rainbow Health Initiative, Planet Claire Creative, MJP Strategic Communications and UPS of Golden Valley and more.
To learn more, visit goldenvalleypride.com.
Golden Valley Pride Festival
Sunday, June 12, at Brookview Park, 200 Brookview Pkwy.
• 10:30-11:45 a.m. – Interfaith church service
• Noon – event kickoff
• Noon to 12:45 p.m. – Outloud, a subgroup of the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus
• 1-1:30 p.m. – Keynote presentations by Tom Knabel, of Human Rights Campaign, and Phil Duran, of OutFront
• 1:45-2:45 p.m. – Freedom Jazz! Big Band
• 2:45-3 p.m. – Bead necklace raffle
• 3-4 p.m. – Live music by The Sons
Contact Gina Purcell at [email protected]