Gay Pride Festival Only Weeks Away

It’s that time again for the Kansas City LGBT community to throw one huge party over the June 2-4 weekend. The crew planning this year’s event is pulling no punches, either.
Every year the rumor mill gets going around March and we hear that Cyndi Lauper, Bette Midler, or Cher is going to be here. We’ve encountered people who have insisted they saw Cher in their favorite watering hole while she was in town for the festival. Any day now we’ll probably hear a new rumor that George Michael was traversing the grounds of Liberty Memorial in between acts.
And sometimes the rumors are true: At this year’s Pride Festival, RuPaul will be here, sponsored by Missie B’s. The drag queens have already raised $2,000 in benefits and, Missie’s is raffling off an original acrylic painting of RuPaul done by a talented artist, Javier, the studly bartender at OutAbounds. For those of you who can take their music without 6-foot drag queens, the group En Vogue will be making its Gay Pride premier performance. And for those of you who have seen him before in Kansas City, the hot singer Eric Himan will be back.
What else is in store? John Koop, president of Kansas City Gay Pride, and his committees have been working intensely all year to line up talent and stage events. He credits a meeting with Passages, our LGBTQ youth group, for giving his crew lots of ideas for local entertainers.
This year panels of the AIDS Quilt will be on display during Gay Pride for the first time in nine years. They will be on display at one of the host hotels, the Hyatt Crown Center.
As in previous years there will be a Kid’s Corner, athletics and possibly carnival events. The food court is back again, although it’s acceptable to bring picnic lunches into the grounds of the festival as well. The only stipulation is no beverages or liquor can be brought in. Pets are once again allowed if on leashes; and dog owners are asked to be responsible for their pets’ “hygiene.”
Friday night, June 2.

  • StreetBlast Festival on Main between 19th and 17th streets, Downtown Kansas City in the Crossroads area, the same night as First Friday in the Crossroads.

  • Saturday and Sunday, June 3 & 4
  • Pride Festival on the grounds of Liberty Memorial, Kansas City, Missouri.

  • During the month of May and the weekend before two special events are planned:
    “Dress to Impress” will be held at Bar Natasha on May 26, 7 p.m. There will be a Dillards Fashion Show and gift certificates to Dillards at Oak Park Mall will be raffled off.
    Thursday, June 1, will feature an Interfaith Service at Spirit of Hope MCC.
    In addition there are several Gay Pride Athletic Events scheduled during May and over the Pride weekend:
    Golf: Saturday, May 6th, at Painted Hills Golf Course, with tee times starting at 10:30am; entry fee is $65.00 per person, and includes cart/green fees and prizes. Sign up the day of the tournament starting at 9:00am, with last team to sign up by 10:00am.
    Bowling: Saturday, May 13th, at Ward Parkway Lanes at 1pm; entry fee is $20 per person, and includes lineage/shoe rental and prizes. Sign up the day of the tournament at the bowling alley starting at 12pm.
    Tennis: Saturday, May 27th, at Penn Valley Park tennis courts, starting at 1pm; entry fee is free. Singles competitions only. Sign up at 11 a.m.
    Volleyball, Softball and Kickball will be held on the Pride Festival grounds June 3-4.
    All information on Pride can be found at www.kansascitygaypride.org. The group is having weekly meetings every Tuesday between now and Gay Pride, so if you haven’t already signed up to be a volunteer, it’s not too late. Go to a meeting and find our more or sign up through the website. Booths and sponsorships are still available but going quickly.
    Camp is the official publication of Kansas City Gay Pride and will be publishing a special PrideGuide on Friday, May 26, with all the details of the festival known at press date. Look for it in advance and at Gay Pride. (For information on advertising in the Camp Gay PrideGuide, contact us or call Mike Sugnet (816) 916-1191.) "
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