GROVE CITY, Ohio (WCMH) — Grove City is hosting its second annual Pride festival this weekend, celebrating the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community.
The festival is welcoming guests beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Town Center Park in downtown Grove City. Organizers said this year’s Pride has been streamlined to include the most popular portions from the city’s inaugural festival in 2022.
“We are very excited to welcome everyone back to the heart of downtown Grove City, and especially to hold our main event in the new Town Center Park and stage,” said David Donofrio, Pride in Grove City’s board chair.
From 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, “PrideFest” at Town Center Park will feature performances from the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus, local band Session 5 and drag artist Anaslaysia. Nearly 30 vendors and community organizations are comprising a resource fair along with food trucks and designated areas for child and teen crafts.
At 6:30 p.m., Local Cantina will host a drag show for adults with more than six local artists. Sunday morning, Bethel Lutheran Church will host an inclusive-themed coffee and donuts with worship service.
Leslie Anderson, vice chair of Pride in Grove City, said providing a safe environment for the LGBTQ+ community to celebrate their identities is important to combat anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric. At the Ohio Statehouse, bills have advanced to ban gender-affirming care, trans athletes in school sports, and drag queens in public.
“Putting together this year’s festival has been very important, especially given the anti-LGBT vitriol our community continues to experience,” Anderson said. “Our committee is focused, despite that, on having a positive and safe weekend for our community.”
A nonprofit that operates year-round, Pride in Grove City participates in a variety of community festivals and parades, holds monthly happy hours, advocates on behalf of LGBTQ+ priorities in front of city council and school board meetings, and helps to educate the community and schools about LGBTQ+ issues.
Learn more about Pride in Grove City and this weekend’s festival here.