Jamison McKee, of Waterford, wears an “I love my mommies” shirt while at last year’s Ferndale Pride. This year’s festival will take place Saturday, June 2.

Jamison McKee, of Waterford, wears an “I love my mommies” shirt while at last year’s Ferndale Pride. This year’s festival will take place Saturday, June 2.

File photo


Ferndale Pride to see its biggest festival in 8th year

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published May 15, 2018

 Sandy Bruss, of Ferndale, and Sean Laidler, of Hazel Park, enjoy last year’s Ferndale Pride after taking part in the 5K Rainbow Run. The run this year will take place at 10 a.m. June 2 behind the Ferndale Area District Library before Pride festivities kick off.

Sandy Bruss, of Ferndale, and Sean Laidler, of Hazel Park, enjoy last year’s Ferndale Pride after taking part in the 5K Rainbow Run. The run this year will take place at 10 a.m. June 2 behind the Ferndale Area District Library before Pride festivities kick off.

File photo

FERNDALE — In its eighth year of existence, Ferndale Pride will be putting on its biggest event to hit the city.

Ferndale Pride will return Saturday, June 2, with the largest footprint the festival has ever had and 40 percent more vendors, totaling more than 150. The event will be located on West Nine Mile Road between Woodward and Livernois avenues, and also will take up portions of Planavon Street and Allen Road.

Event chair Julia Music said she doesn’t know if she can comprehend how much Pride has grown over the years.

“We’ve streamlined everything that we can to make this happen, but at the same time, it’s one of those things that, like, kind of just takes over, and then when it happens, to see how many people come and enjoy themselves, it’s like, ‘OK, that’s worth it. It’s worth the growth, and we’re going to keep making it what people need,’” she said.

“I’m really happy that Ferndale really supports the event. It’s a day where I see so many people volunteering and out helping us and making it happen. Without our volunteers, obviously, we could not even come close to what we are able to do.”

This year’s event also is the first time that the festival has a naming-rights sponsor, with it being presented by the Candle Wick Shoppe. Music said this sponsorship upped the ante with what Pride was able to do this year.

“When you have a bigger event, you need certain pieces of equipment that are just larger and have to be rented and borrowed,” she said. “With this type of sponsorship, we can make it the biggest event.”

Music touted several activities and attractions that she is excited Pride will have, including an expanded children’s area presented by Blue Care Network that will have a rock-climbing wall, and how for the first time there will be an asexual group at Pride, as well as an intersex awareness organization.

“There was a lot of asexual people coming to our Pride festivals wearing asexual colors, but we never had a group,” she said.

Before Pride kicks off June 2, the preceding week will have a number of related events, including at least one event per day at Affirmations beginning the Tuesday before the event, May 29.

For more information about this year’s Pride festival and other related events, visit www.fern
dalepride.com.

Mayor Pro Tem Greg Pawlica was one of the co-founders of Ferndale Pride. He said that Pride to him is more than just pride for the LGBT community.

“I believe we’re not celebrating just the LGBT community that day, but we’re celebrating all of the diversity of Ferndale at Ferndale Pride,” he said.

Remembering how Pride began in its early years, Pawlica said that when it first started, the first year involved a parade and a couple of marches.

“It has grown probably 1,000 percent in those eight years,” he said. “What I’m proudest of with Ferndale Pride is that every year our focus is always, when we’re dealing with the finances, to make sure that we have money that we can give back to the community, to local LGBT community organizations, so that they can benefit, which in turn helps Pride, because those organizations are energetic and more excited about being a part of the event, which just helps make the event even bigger.”