Hazel Park to hold Pride Celebration

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published July 23, 2021

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HAZEL PARK — After a year’s delay due to the pandemic, the city of Hazel Park is gearing up for its first-ever Pride Celebration, with a day of festivities at Green Acres Park.

The event will take place from noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 15, with outdoor activities taking place in three covered pavilions in the center of the park, located at 620 W. Woodward Heights Blvd. The event is free, but donations are encouraged and will benefit LGBTQ organizations.

Pavilion No. 1 will feature vendors selling pride-related merchandise, including unique fashions at the Drag Queen’s Second-Hand Clothes booth. Pavilion No. 2 will be a performance stage with more than 50 entertainers throughout the day. Pavilion No. 3 will feature food and drinks, including barbecue items, snacks and candy, and adult beverages. There will also be family entertainment, including face painting, Drag Queen Storytime, classic board games and carnival-style games.

“Hosting a Pride event is the next step in our continued and longstanding support of the LGBTQ community,” said Hazel Park City Councilmember Luke Londo, in an email. “I’m proud of our city’s welcoming and inclusive spirit. This event is a great opportunity for our LGBTQ residents and allies to build community.”

Local businesses are also encouraged to participate, as vendors at the event. Vendor booth space is $25. Volunteers are also needed to help run the event. To sign up as a vendor or to help out as a volunteer, call (734) 308-7309 or email micksfuture@aol.com.

The event arrives in Hazel Park after the city passed a human rights ordinance earlier this year increasing LGBTQ protections. The ordinance prohibits discrimination in areas such as employment, housing, public accommodations and public services on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, height, weight, marital status, family status, national origin, disability, and sexual orientation.

The council also issued a proclamation in June recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month, something the city has done since 2018, annually raising a rainbow-colored Pride flag in front of Hazel Park City Hall.

Hazel Park attracted widespread attention back in 2012 when two residents at the time — April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse — challenged Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban with the goal of marrying so they could ensure their adopted children had the same rights under both parents. Their case was one of several across the country that were consolidated into the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Obergefell vs. Hodges, which in 2015 led to the highest court in the land ruling that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, reversing bans in 13 states.

City officials and organizers issued statements sharing their excitement for the new event.  

“After being delayed for over a year, I’m happy that the organizers are now able to hold a Pride Celebration in Hazel Park,” said Hazel Park City Manager Ed Klobucher. “We’re hoping for good weather and a successful event!”

“I’m very honored and excited to be supporting this first-time event in Hazel Park,” said resident Tim McKee-Zazo, who is helping organize the event. “It’s great to see Hazel Park’s rising prominence in Oakland County, and how many LGBTQ residents, families and business owners are the ‘new norm’ in this community.”

“I’m excited for this first-ever Pride event in our friendly little city,” said Hazel Park City Councilman Mike McFall. “We have a sizable and growing LGBTQ community here in Hazel Park, and this event will highlight that. We passed a human rights ordinance earlier this year, and have flown the Pride flag outside our City Hall for the last four years. This event is one more way our city continues to demonstrate how welcoming Hazel Park has become.”

“As the co-sponsor of our original Pride Resolution in 2018, I’m so proud of how far our city has moved towards the equity that we all deserve, in the places we live,” said Alissa Sullivan, also a member of the Hazel Park City Council. “‘The Friendly City’ is no longer just our city motto — it’s how we live and show our neighbors, ‘You’re all welcome here.’”

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