KALAMAZOO—A two-day event celebrating diversity and featuring live music, food and activities will run Friday and Saturday, June 14-15, in downtown Kalamazoo.
The sixth annual Kalamazoo Pride kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday with an electronic DJ, local drag show and a performance by Manila Luzon, the first runner-up on the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Live entertainment and more
Friday, June 14
Friday’s headliner JC will end the evening with his live and unique style of music, a blending of R&B/soul and dance/pop. He has been featured on shows such as FOX TV’s "Glee," TNT's "The Closer," and CBS's "The Bold and the Beautiful," and is starring in the original series "DTLA," which premiered Oct. 24, 2012.
The main event begins Saturday at 2 p.m. with Kalamazoo Pride's first transgender musician, Brody Ray. Featured on TLC's "Strange Sex" about his transition, Brody has been signed to Dream Machine Productions and is currently recording in Nashville. His first single, "Your Only One" was released on country music radio.
Milwaukee comedian Tanya Atkinson will emcee the afternoon and evening amidst a performance from Grand Rapids-based Hannaniah & The Boys who will play a mix of music from the 60’s to Top 40.
Saturday, June 15
Saturday’s headliner was featured at Kalamazoo Pride 2012 and is back this year with a new band—Kimi Hayes & Déjà Vu.
As an effort to address youth bullying, there will be two afternoon sessions of "The TruthLocker Solution," an interactive presentation about cyber threats, and a discussion on ways to increase accountability and stop social cruelty.
In addition to live entertainment, more than 75 vendors, food trucks and beverages from Bell’s Brewery and Barefoot Wines will be available.
The event celebrates all forms of diversity in Kalamazoo, but focuses on sexual orientations and gender identities. Similar events are taking place across the country and in the nation's capital Saturday.
Proceeds benefit resource center
Kalamazoo Pride is sponsored by Bell's Brewery, WKFR 103.3 and PNC Bank, among others. All proceeds benefit the Kalamazoo Gay and Lesbian Resource Center, which organizes the annual event.
Last year, 11,000 people attended Pride, the largest fundraiser of the year for the organization.
A two-day admission pass for $10 is available, or separate cover charges are $5 for Friday and $7 to enter on Saturday. Children 12 years old and younger are free.
For more information, visit kglrc.org/pride.