Changes Come and Go, But We’re Still Proud
May 23, 2010
by John Long
Welcome to the 2010 PrideGuide edition of Camp. We launched Camp at the June 2004 Pride Festival, and we’re now happy to celebrate the publication of our seventh annual PrideGuide.
Much has changed for both Camp and the Pride Festival during these years. Camp has evolved, with redesigns, and more great writers and support from advertisers. We began as a monthly, published every two weeks in 2007 and 2008, then went back to a monthly frequency in 2009. This year for the first time, we’ve decided to combine our June and July issues, making that one a six-week publication. Quite frankly, we all need a break, and the PrideGuide will be out at the June 4-6 festival, so we can publish our June/July issue on June 18 and have enough time to do a proper and timely Pride recap. In addition, we’re happy to say that we’ll be publishing our 100th issue in August and our annual Missouri Gay Rodeo issue in September.
But the subject of this issue is the Pride Festival. For many years, we’ve called the annual events Gay Pride, but there seems to be some discussion worldwide that the name Gay Pride was somewhat exclusive. However no one is jumping on the bandwagon to name it LGBTQIA Pride either. So for now, to recognize the diversity of all who enjoy not only the Pride Festival, but the entire week of Pride activities and all of the events year-round, we’re following the lead of Kansas City’s Show Me Pride organization and referring to this as our PrideGuide.
To say that Pride has evolved in 32 years of producing an event in Kansas City would be an understatement. Starting with a march or picnic in the early days, and continuing through varied locations, management organizations and volunteers, Pride in Kansas City is an annual tradition celebrated by tens of thousands of people. This year’s Show Me Pride team promises us even more excitement.
Look for the entire schedule on pages 21-24. Because we publish the PrideGuide two weeks ahead of the festival in order to get the word out, some events could change from what we have written here. Make sure to check out www.gaypridekc.com and their Facebook page, Pride Kansas City, for any updates. If for any reason they need to modify locations within the park, Rick Bumgardner tells me it will be posted on their website.
Two big changes this year are “Power The Light With Pride” and a new location for the festival.
Due to the May rainstorms that turned the usual site of Penn Valley Park into a mudfest, Show Me Pride was forced to suddenly find a new location barely two weeks before the festival. Working with the Mayor's office Bumgardner was able to secure a new spot of Richard Berkley Riverfront Park for the Saturday and Sunday festival. This also means the parade that had been scheduled between 18th and Main St. and Penn Valley Park on Sunday morning may change to a new location or be cancelled. Because of our press date of May 20, we do not know the details about the Parade if indeed it will still be held. Please check gaypridekc.com for information on this or any other possible changes resulting from the sudden change of location.
On Friday night, the event formerly held at 19th and Main called StreetBlast has moved to the Kansas City “Live” entertainment courtyard in the Power & Light District. This will save the group thousands of dollars and plenty of work — it won’t have to get merchant approval to close off four blocks of Main Street on a busy Friday night, secure police, and involve their volunteers to build a stage and venue for a four-hour event, then dismantle the stage, clean the street and return to work the Festival on Saturday morning. Instead, the event, now called “Power The Light With Pride,” will be held in an area with a stage and electronics already provided and a canopy to protect it from being rained out (as some StreetBlasts were).
Producing Pride and bringing in national acts is not cheap. Pride has been producing the event for free for many years now. That has been a huge financial handicap, as it would be for any organization. So this year there will be modest fees of $15 for the two-day festival and $5 for the Power the Light with Pride, or $10 per day at the Festival. The festival fee includes the $5 wrist band normally charged for beer and also includes an item of Pride merchandise while supplies last. Let’s face it, compared to the cost of a movie and snacks at the theater, $20 is a bargain for a three-day festival.
We support Pride for their work all year and for the great festival ahead. I’m confident that our community will, too. On a personal note, we thank Rick Bumgardner, president, Josh Kruger, vice president, and the entire team of Pride volunteers for all their support of Camp and the Camp PrideGuide.
Happy Pride 2010!