Golden Valley Pride Festival is June 11

From left, Golden Valley Mayor Shep Harris and council members Joanie Clausen and Andy Snope at the 2016 Golden Valley Pride Festival. (File photo)

For many Americans, June is known as Pride Month, a month that celebrates and supports the LGBTQ community.
Despite no official action to declare June as Pride Month nationally by President Donald Trump, Golden Valley residents are gearing up for the pride festival noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 11, at Brookview Park, 200 Brookview Parkway, that is planned to be bigger and better than last year.
“The support has been impressive and very humbling,” said John Kluchka, a Golden Valley resident and member of the pride festival planning committee. “The festival itself has grown in size because of the massive response in our first year, and our team wanted to be better organized to make it enjoyable for everyone.”
The festival runs longer and will expand through more of the park.
“We added many new food trucks and vendors, plus the new Lavender Magazine Beer Garden, our No. 1 request from last year,” he said.
Also new this year is color run and Pawride Bark Park.
“We saw how many people enjoyed bringing their pets to Pride last year, and when the opportunity to partner up with some local pet-loving organizations came, we were very excited,” Kluchka said. “Pets are part of the family, so it just makes sense to include them at Pride.”
Pawride Bark Park will include treats, nonprofit information tables, “pawlates” with Jenner Hildebrandt of Emerge Pilates, photos with Kirsten Eitreim of KME Photography, a paw print mural, a take-home paw print and “yappy” hour.
Those planning to participate in pawlates should bring a mat and their canine companion.
The color run idea was introduced by local Girls Scouts Troop 16293/17811.
Participants, who are asked to wear white clothes and sunglasses, can choose a short 0.4 mile route or take advantage of the full 1-mile route, visiting all six color stations along the way. For the best color results, runners are encouraged to soak themselves with a hose prior to the run.
A $10 suggested donation will be accepted on the day of the event prior to the run.
Jana Shortal, a KARE 11 news anchor, will serve as the local celebrity event host.
“Jana is a perfect host for Golden Valley Pride — her many years working in Golden Valley at KARE 11, her enthusiastic voice for our broader community, it all just made sense,” Kluchka said.
Other events throughout the day include an interfaith religious service, kids activities, food trucks – such as New Bohemia, A Piece of Cake, MN Nice Cream, Panini Pinup and Market BBQ – and musical performances by OutLoud! from the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, Dirty Shorts Brass Band, Looney Lutherans, Salsa del Soul, Erin Schwab and Jay Fuchs and Roxxy Hall Band.
“I’ve heard from so many people across the metro who are grateful for this event – something they can’t find in their community,” Kluchka said. “So for me, it’s important because we need to be there for each other, be that extended family and make connections, perhaps for the first time. If we can do that in a relaxed, fun and entertaining afternoon, we’ll have been successful.”
Kluchka noted that it is also important for the community to gather to honor the anniversary of the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando June 12, 2016, that killed 49 people.
The event will also provide a space for people to connect with community groups looking to progress the gay community locally and nationally.
In addition to resident support, the Golden Valley Pride Festival has numerous sponsors, including General Mills, Lavender Magazine, KARE 11, The UPS Store, MJP strategic communications, Edina Realty, Allianz, Culver’s, Xcel Energy, Rotary International, Pride Twin Cities, Best Wishes Floral, Discover St. Louis Park and Milton’s, among others.

Schedule of events
• 10:30-11:45 a.m. – Interfaith religious service
• Noon – Festival kick-off with host Jana Shortal, of KARE 11
• Noon – Musical performance by OutLoud! from the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus
• Noon to 2:45 p.m. – Pawlates with Jennifer Hildebrandt of Emerge Pilates
• Noon to 6 p.m. – Kids activities, community booths, food trucks, Amelia & Holly’s pawride treats, and musical performances
• 1 p.m. – Musical performance by Dirty Shorts Brass Band
• 2 p.m. – Color Run and musical performance by Looney Lutherans
• 3 p.m. – Musical performance by Salsa del Soul
• 3-5 p.m. – Pawride photos with Kirsten Eitreim of KME Photography
• 3-6 p.m. – Pawride paw print mural, take-home paw print and yappy hour
• 4 p.m. – Musical performance by Erin Schwab and Jay Fuchs
• 5 p.m. – Musical performance by Roxxy Hall Band

Contact Gina Purcell at [email protected]