Prizm News / May 29, 2018 / By Bob Vitale

By Prizm News

The movement for LGBTQ visibility, acceptance and civil rights kicked into high gear with the 1969 uprising at New York’s Stonewall Inn. And the annual recommitment to that cause began in 1970 with the first Pride marches in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

This year, Ohioans will celebrate Pride with 17 festivals, picnics and get-togethers in 16 cities from the first weekend in June to the last weekend in August. The calendar of related events includes parties, brunches, movie screenings, networking nights, drag shows, fun runs and a Pride Night baseball game for the Cincinnati Reds.

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It all starts this weekend with parades and festivals in Cleveland, Dayton and Lancaster, as well as a community picnic in Findlay.

Here are details of Ohio’s first celebrations:

Dayton Pride
“Voices of Value”
Saturday, June 2

The First Pride: “Originally it was people walking a parade, and not many people walking in a parade,” Greater Dayton LGBT Center board member Allison Cox told WYSO-FM in 2016 as Dayton marked the 40th anniversary of its first Pride. More info:

Cooper Park

Step-off: St. Clair Street, between 2nd and 3rd Streets Dayton, 45402
The parade will head south on St. Clair Street to 3rd Street, west on 3rd to Jefferson Street, north on Jefferson to 2nd Street, west on 2nd to Main Street, and south on Main to the festival at Courthouse Square.

FESTIVAL | Noon-4 p.m.
Courthouse Square
23 N. Main St., Dayton, 45202

Affair on the Square | Friday, June 1
Two of Dayton’s LGBTQ favorites, the Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus and the Rubi Girls, kick off Pride weekend with performances at this Friday night outdoor beer and food truck rally. 5 p.m.- 10 p.m. at Courthouse Square, 23 N. Main St., Dayton, 45202.

Svedka .5K Bar Crawl | Friday, June 1
Following Affair on the Square, a .5K Bar Crawl—that’s not 5K, it’s 0.5K!—will make the rounds of LGBTQ places in Downtown’s Fruit Loop.

Running With Pride | Sunday, June 3
All proceeds from this 5K run/walk benefit PFLAG Dayton’s educational programs. 8 a.m.- noon at Welcome Stadium, 1601 S. Edwin C. Moses Blvd., Dayton, 45417. Registration is $25; search for Running With Pride at

Spikes & Heels | Sunday, June 3
Teams compete in spikes or heels in this 3rd annual post-Pride kickball tournament. Spikes might help teams win on the field, but there also are prizes for the best team uniforms, best cheer squad and best decorated team tent. A beer tent and food trucks will be on site. Noon- 6 p.m. at Burns-Jackson Park, Dayton, 45410.

Pride in the CLE
Saturday, June 2

The First Pride: “An Out of the Closet Experience” was the theme of the first Cleveland Pride festival in 1989. Pride in the CLE began in 2016. The two festivals merged earlier this year. More info:

MARCH | Noon

Step-off: E. 17th Street and Lakeside Avenue Cleveland, 44114
It’s not a parade, it’s a march, without floats or trucks or cars. People will walk west on Lakeside Avenue to Ontario Street, and south on Ontario to Public Square and the festival site.

FESTIVAL | Noon-6 p.m.
Public Square
West Superior Avenue and Ontario Street Cleveland, 44113

Flat Out Pride | Friday, June 1
A pre-Pride night of music, food, drinks and entertainment will include a special celebrity appearance by Thorgy Thor from “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” Season 3. It’s a free outdoor party from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. on Old River Road along the Flats East Bank waterfront, Cleveland, 44113.

PFLAG Breakfast | Saturday, June 2
The organization for parents, families, friends and allies of the LGBTQ community hosts its annual pre-Pride breakfast. 10:30 a.m. at Old Stone Church, 91 Public Square, Cleveland, 44113.

Gay Games 9 Reunion Beach Brunch | Sunday, June 3
Four years ago, the world came to Northeast Ohio for Gay Games 9. Now, as the world prepares to head to Paris for the next Games, the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland and the Cleveland Foundation host this celebration of the impact and legacy of the 2014 event in Cleveland and Akron. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Kite Field at Edgewater Park, 6500 Cleveland Memorial Shoreway, Cleveland, 44102. Tickets are $30-$150 and can be purchased via Eventbrite.

Pride in the CLE Workout | Friday, June 8
It’s not the typical way to celebrate Pride, but why not? The CTown gym hosts a team workout—a team run, push-ups, lunges and more—in support of the LGBT Community Center. 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at CTown East Bank, 1678 Leonard St., Cleveland, 44113. It’s free, but donations will go to the center.


Findlay Pride Picnic
Saturday, June 2

Noon-4 p.m. at Riverside Park, 231 McManness Ave., Findlay, 45840
Bring a side dish, dessert or appetizer to share and your own lawn chair. There will be kids’ games and activities, bingo, raffles, music, 50/50 drawing, photo booth and more. More info: FB: Lgbtq+ Spectrum of Findlay

Lancaster LGBT CommUNITY Festival
Saturday, June 2

Noon-2 a.m. at JD Henderson’s, 204 S. Columbus St., Lancaster, 43130
Highlights include a 3 p.m. Pride Walk through Downtown, a drag race, line dancing and drag shows starting at 7 p.m. More info: FB: 2nd Annual LGBT Pride Festival

Bob Vitale
A Toledo native and graduate of Toledo Public Schools, Bob has worked as a local government and politics reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, as a Washington correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and as editor-in-chief for Outlook Ohio. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from Ball State University and a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.