NM Pride is a chance for GLBT persons, friends and family to connect and celebrate with each other. It is an environment, open to everyone who supports the right of all human beings to exist free from discrimination based on race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. The festival includes everything from commitment ceremonies to arts and crafts for kids. There will be food and entertainment, political speeches and games, and a drumming workshop with a performance to follow.
The day will begin at 9 a.m. with a commitment ceremony for couples who would like to join others in proclaiming their love and commitment to their partners. This is not only an opportunity for men and women to share their vows in the eyes of friends, family and a supportive audience, but also a symbolic representation of legal marriage; an institution in which our GLBT brothers and sisters across the country are fighting to be included.
The stage show begins at 10 a.m. with entertainment ranging from music to comedy to political presentations. Disturbing the Piece Traveling Road Show will offer improvisational comedy, while Human Rights Commission member MLynn Hartwell will inform attendees about legislation directly affecting the GLBT population in her State of the State Address. Morgan Coyne will grace the stage with her folk numbers and C-Note & Spare Change will shake things up a bit with their freestyle flow (with drum & guitar accompaniment). Rachel Brian also makes the trip home from Lansing to share her passionate guitar and vocal pieces.
There will be a diverse variety of musicians traveling from outside the Traverse City area to add excitement to this years show. Barb Barton, whose music has won her the title of Best Vocalist in Folk at the Detroit Music Awards, will entertain the afternoon crowd, followed by hip-hop artists God-Des and Johnny Dangerous who have had some play recently at SideTraxx, Dillingers and on NMC Radio. God-Des is a hip-hop duo who will also be performing this August at the Michigan Womyns Music Festival and Johnny Dangerous energetic performances have earned him two nominations for Out Music Awards (not best for the kiddies, sorry).
In addition to stage entertainment, a number of other activities will be happening throughout the day. Kids of all ages can take part in arts & crafts projects, games and contests from 10 a.m. 3 p.m. with Pamela Dueweke. At 11 a.m., DeDe and Mark of Rhythmic Adventures will be leading a free drumming workshop, after which participants can take to the stage to demonstrate what theyve learned. (Percussion instruments will be available, but participants are welcome to bring their own, as well.) Booths representing local businesses, artists, craftspeople and organizations will be set up throughout the day allowing festival goers to browse through art, merchandise, and information. There will be voter registration through Rock the Vote, massage, t-shirts and a raffle for a chance to win a beautiful framed print donated by the Wooden Gallery, among other great prizes. When hunger strikes in the midst of the mix of fun and activity, delectable victuals will be available for purchase from NM Pride, catered by Anja Geirlach of One At A Time Catering, as well as from other food vendors. Those interested in becoming a food vendor for Northern Michigan Pride can email to
Michelle Moore is a Northern Michigan Pride Committee member.