An estimated 30,000 people attended Ferndale Pride on June 1.

An estimated 30,000 people attended Ferndale Pride on June 1.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Thousands celebrate LGBTQ+ community at Ferndale Pride

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published June 3, 2024

 Acoustic Ash opens the entertainment at Ferndale Pride.

Acoustic Ash opens the entertainment at Ferndale Pride.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


FERNDALE — The city of Ferndale’s massive celebration of Pride returned June 1 with thousands of people in attendance.

Ferndale Pride brought in an estimated 30,000 to its annual festival downtown on Nine Mile Road to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

“It was just so joyous and beautiful,” Event Director Julia Music said. “We did get the weather that we needed, but also just people came with the right type of happy attitude. It was really, really beautiful.”

One of Music’s favorite parts of the day was Pride’s musical headliners, Wreckno and DJ Holographic, and how into the music the crowd was all the way into the night.

“I was nervous because I know we have to stop the music at 10 o’clock, but they could have kept playing because people were just going nuts for them,” she said.

Music also said she was elated by how many families came up to her to express their happiness with Pride.

“Lots of families coming up and saying, like, ‘There’s lots of great things to do here. My kids are having a great time.’ I heard a few different people at the end of the night saying, ‘But I don’t want to go back. I want to stay in Ferndale.’ That would probably be the best thing — hearing that,” she said.

Cynthia Campbell, of Clinton Township, attended her first Pride event ever on Saturday. The 15-year-old identifies as genderfae.

“It’s been really fun,” she said. “There’s a lot of people. … I’ve seen a lot of really cool costumes and outfits and stuff.”

Campbell loved that she was able to be herself at Pride and not have to worry about others’ opinions.

“It’s really fun to see a lot of different people, and I’ve interacted with a lot of new, fun people,” she said.

This was Finnley Socia’s second time at Ferndale Pride. The Clinton Township 15-year-old identifies as transmasc demiboy and found coming to Pride events was a great way to meet other people in the community.

“It’s … a way to find your people and to connect and hear other people’s experiences and coming out stories,” he said. “It’s just a great way to connect with other people.”
Socia said before coming to Pride, he had a hard time finding a space like that for him to meet others.

“I’ve always had a hard time coming out to anyone really. But I feel like after meeting … more queer people, it’s been easier to come out to people, definitely,” he said.

Socia’s mother, Emily, said bringing her kid to Pride is nice because they come from a conservative area to Ferndale and she sees how Finnley is comfortable being himself with others like himself.

“It’s nice coming out here where he can be comfortable and expressive and not worry about looks or comments or things,” Emily Socia said. “Everybody is just open here. And it’s really refreshing because he can open up more and just really be happy. It’s really wonderful here.

“Especially with the way the world is right now, we’re really, really lucky, I think, in Michigan — and Ferndale especially — that there is this chance to come out and not have to be worried that he’s gonna get hurt or he’s gonna get judged and things like that,” she added. “I’m just really grateful for this space, and it makes me really happy.”