COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Stonewall Columbus Pride March and Festival returns this weekend after two years of canceled and virtual celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s theme is “People’s Pride,” with an emphasis on honoring the original Stonewall uprising in 1969 in New York by encouraging participants to march over floats. The city’s first Pride march happened in 1981 with just 200 people. Today, the Stonewall Columbus Pride welcomes more than 700,000 visitors.
The Pride festival begins at 4 p.m. Friday at Goodale Park and runs until 10 p.m., featuring food, more than 200 vendors, nonprofit organizations, community resources and live entertainment across two stages with a DJ and dance pad. Friday’s entertainers include Shaun Booker, Diamond Elyse and The Fabulous Johnson Brothers.
The celebration continues 10 a.m. Saturday with Stonewall’s Pride March at Broad and High Streets, moving north on High Street to Buttles Avenue and landing at Goodale Park. Guests can reserve a premium viewing space with “Pride on High” at Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse, Local Cantina or Parlay Sporting Club and Kitchen. Purchase tickets here.
The festival resumes Saturday after the parade at 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday’s entertainers include Trey Pearson, Evelyn “Champagne” King and Party Favors.
There will also be a dedicated “Wellness Area” at the festival, with the Columbus Department of Public Health, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Equitas Health. Guests will find COVID-19 testing, rapid HIV testing and other resources.
The Central Ohio Transit Authority will be providing daily service for those attending Pride. COTA’s hours of operations are 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., with final run each night at 10 p.m. Fare is $2 per adult, $1 per child under 12, and children under 5 ride at no charge.
On Saturday morning, stops will not be serviced along the parade’s route during the event. Several lines will be rerouted beginning at 8:30 a.m. and continuing through the end of the march. View the affected lines and other details here.
In the past, Stonewall Columbus has chosen a grand marshal to lead the march. Stonewall has shifted to recognizing a “Patron of Pride” and “Leaders of Pride,” individuals who uplift the LGBTQ+ community.
Stonewall has chosen Carmen Carrera as the 2022 Patron of Pride. A contestant on the third season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Carrera is a transgender model active in AIDS awareness and activism. Stonewall recognizes The Trans Visibility Project as the 2022 Leaders of Pride. The organization fosters spaces for the trans and non-binary community to represent themselves and share their story.
In preparation of the march and festival, there are a number of street closures to be mindful of. There will be residents only access beginning 7 a.m. Friday for the following:
- Dennison Avenue at Goodale Boulevard to Buttles Avenue
- Collins Avenue at Dennison Avenue to Hunter Avenue
- Poplar Avenue at Dennison Avenue to Hunter Avenue
- Hunter avenue at Goodale Boulevard to Buttles Avenue
- Highland Avenue at Buttles Avenue to Collins
For the Saturday march, Rich and High streets will be closed to Buttles Avenue.