Toledo Delight is Stay Once more

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In 2020 the Toledo Pride celebration was forced to adapt. The annual celebration of the area’s LGBTQIA + community was more of the traditional, sprawling event with parades, vendors, and more. Pride 2020 was celebrated with two smaller events – Pride on the Inside, a simulcast event that was shown in three local restaurants in August, and Pride at the Drive-In, a screening of two films at the Sundance Kid in September.

Pride wanted to be in full shape again this year, but … not quite yet. Scheduling and logistics have conspired to keep Toledo’s Pride celebration muted for 2021. “Pride usually takes us about a year to plan,” said Lexi Hayman-Staples, Toledo Pride general manager. “So when the restrictions were lifted in June, we had little time to bring it all together. Because we have more than 100 suppliers, food trucks, test stations (and many other details). So it’s hard to coordinate all of that. ”

“We work 100% voluntarily, not a single person is paid on our committee. So I have a full-time job, Lexi does her job, everyone has a (full-time) job they have, ”said Chad Turner, Toledo Pride marketing coordinator. “We all do this in our free time, after our job.”

Live in the park

The 2021 edition of Toledo Pride will be bigger than last year’s events. The event billed as Pride Live @ the Park will take place on Saturday, August 21, at Promenade Park, 400 Water St. with live entertainment, drinks and food.

Due to strict attendance restrictions, the day’s events will be divided into three separate sessions – starting at 12 p.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Each session lasts an hour and 45 minutes and can accommodate 500 participants. Free HIV test and COVID vaccines will be available during the event.

$ 5 session tickets are sold in pairs – although free tickets are available through the Toledo Pride website. “Since people donate $ 5 to the cause, everyone who comes in gets some loot,” explained Hayman-Staples.

Turner continued, “We need to make sure we fill the chairs we sell. We can’t have 450 chairs and only fill 300. There are many moving parts. It’s not as easy as saying, ‘Hey, we’re having a party in the park!’

Brunch and movies

The day after Live @ the Park, Sunday, August 22nd, attendees can enjoy the Big Rainbow Brunch Crawl on Adams Street from 2pm to 5pm ($ 5 entry with a wristband)y Eat in a number of participating bars. A children’s area will be set up at the corner of Adams and 14th St.

Pride at the Drive-In proved so successful last year that the movie night will continue on September 9 at the Sundance Kid Drive In, Oregon. Hayman-Staples stated that this new tradition is an example of the opportunities created by adapting to the pandemic over the past year. “We would never have thought of holding a drive-in event if it hadn’t been for COVID. We are now planning this drive-in event every year because it was so much fun. “

togetherness

A spirit of inclusivity is at the heart of Toledo Pride with the primary goal of providing visibility and a sense of family to members of the LGBTQ + community. “Last year was really tough for a lot of people just not to come out and see people they know,” said Turner. “One of our main focuses was to try and do something anyway – even though it was a recorded show. We tried to let people know: ‘We are here’. “

“We’re really trying to make this year’s event a safer one for people who may not have been able to get out – people with immunodeficiency. We’re trying to make this event for everyone, ”said Hayman-Staples.

For more information or tickets,
Visit toledopride.com.