The 2005 Gay Pride Festival comes to Loring Park Friday, June 25 and Sunday June 26. The theme of this year's celebration, "Liberation in Progress," is focused on gay civil rights progress.
The festival will include fireworks, three stages of live entertainment, food courts, a beer garden, coffee house, a family and children's area, and a history pavilion.
Musician Ari Gold headlines the Loring Stage Saturday night, just prior to the fireworks show in the park - no time certain. Another event highlight will be the Mass Commitment Ceremony at the Loring Park stage Sunday at 2:30 p.m., for couples to express love and receive acknowledgement from the community. (This is an all-inclusive, open and free ceremony.)
The Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade will begin on Sunday at 11 a.m. and travel along Hennepin Avenue through Downtown. It's one of the largest parades in the Upper Midwest. According to the Pride Festival's Web site, the parade drew approximately 100,000 spectators last year.
To mark the end of the celebration, The Saloon, at 9th Street & Hennepin Avenue South, is hosting a block party. There will be a $10 cover for those 18 years of age and older.
The festival and parade are part of the nearly two-week-long Pride Celebration with events all over the Twin Cities.
For a complete schedule of events or more information, see www.tcpride.org.