COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus is one week away from celebrating this year’s Pride march, and now festival-goers can reserve a special view of this year’s parade while benefitting LGBTQ+ organizations.
Named “Pride on High,” the ticketed viewing area for the Stonewall Columbus Pride Parade offers guests the opportunity to watch the march from Hyde Park, Local Cantina and Parlay Sporting Club and Kitchen.
“Pride on High, this is going to be our 14th year,” said organizer Mike Maly. “It was developed out of an idea. All the restaurants were closed Downtown, and I called Hyde Park the following Monday after a parade and said, ‘Would you consider opening for a charity event?’ That first year was 25 people.”
The special ticketed event eventually grew to more than 440 people. The Pride march itself grew as well, which now expects arouond 750,000 spectators. To meet demand, Maly expanded Pride on High to the other side of the street and welcomed 640 people last year.
“And now, hopefully this year, 1200,” said Maly. “And it provides you the ultimate parade watching experience. You have air conditioning, you have private restrooms, you have viewing points, you have shade, and you have beverages available for your for your partaking and food at a couple of locations.”
Maly explained that Pride on High tickets benefit four local charities and programs supporting the LGBTQ+ community: Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Mozaic by Equitas Health, Stonewall Columbus and Columbus College of Art and Design.
The festival, parade and Pride on High aim to celebrate diversity, Maly said. After years of progress, that has once again become an uphill battle.
“We still have sadly a long way to go for equality and for acceptance,” said Maly. “But it’s there. It’s alive and I believe the majority of the individuals across this United States do support and do belief.”
NBC4 will be streaming the parade from Pride on High, and anchor Colleen Marshall will be hosting the march along with Amber Nicole and Virginia West. Ticket prices for Pride on High begin at $50, learn more here.