Hello LGBTIQA Pride Festival Attendees:

Hello LGBTIQA Pride Festival Attendees:
I’d like to welcome you to the 32nd annual Pride Festival. This year it has expanded to an entire week of activities and events planned for you, centered on our theme of “Then ... Now ... Forever ... PRIDE.” We’ve tried to plan something for all of you, whether this is your first festival or your 32nd, as we celebrate the diversity within our own community.
Speaking of community, according to Wikipedia, “in sociology, the concept of community has led to significant debate, and sociologists are yet to reach agreement on a definition of the term. There were ninety-four discrete definitions of the term by the mid-1950s.” We found that to be true as we canvassed our own Kansas City community about their thoughts, opinions, wishes and desires for their Pride festival. Our survey, community-wide Pride meetings, and social networking sites provided information and solicited feedback. Based on your input, we set our goals for the festival: to serve the wildly diverse community here in Kansas City, to become visible, to “come-in-unity” (as we like to say it) with you, our varying organizations, our cities, our states of Kansas and Missouri, and to reach out to others to help them along their LGBTIQA paths.
We couldn’t be more pleased with the results, from new partnerships with Truman Medical Center, Hallmark’s HERE organization, Kansas City’s Power & Light District, the Missouri Gay Rodeo Association, Happy Faces Entertainment, the Gay Volleyball League, the Kansas City Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, a number of regional cities’ Pride organizations, a host of new exhibitors and food vendors, and our old friends!
Our board of volunteers has worked tirelessly to bring you this week of Pride activities, including an old-fashioned T-Dance (with a new twist), Military Memorial, the premiere of a movie about Pride Festivals around the world at the Tivoli, a Candlelight Vigil, Educational Symposiums with Political Forums, a Lesbian Party, Interfaith Service, Quilt Dinner, Power the Light with Pride, Volleyball Tournament, Festival, and the Parade. I could not be more proud of that group of people who give so much of themselves to provide you these incredible events!
Our entertainment is the most diverse we’ve ever offered at the festival. We’ve tried to provide a distinct mix of music, styles, and entertainment, from our local and regional acts, Animals with Armour, the KC Thieves, Kristie Stremel, The Transients, and our very own DJ Jerry Griffith, to national acts Nhojj (R&B award-winning artist with the most-watched video on MTV through the month of April), Josh Zuckerman (award-winning pop rock artist), Lisa Koch (comedian/musician), Vickie Shaw (comedian regularly on Comedy Central), Roxanna Ward (musician), Simon Curtis (new artist just tapped by Adam Lambert to write for his next album), to the most requested group by you to return to our festival En Vogue (this time with all four members on their reunion tour), to international sensation La Roux.
Our festival promises to be one of the biggest and most entertaining we have ever had. With children’s games, events and performances planned, this year’s festival will have the most kid-friendly area that we have ever had. The volleyball tournament is an added attraction this year, one that promises to be much fun to watch and play. The mechanical bull and the events planned by the MGRA are shaping up to be some of the most anticipated day events. The inclusion of Youth Educational and Activity Workshops (taking place in our dance tent during the afternoon hours) shows our commitment to the future.
Finally, the parade, with National Grand Marshal Gilbert Baker (creator of the rainbow flag), is one of the most highly anticipated events of the week. A small beginning, a return to yesteryear, this year will begin a new tradition in Kansas City.
This week couldn’t happen without the help of countless people, organizations and establishments who are devoted to our movement and who provide us opportunities to raise money and awareness, and offer education. We are so thankful for our returning sponsors, our new sponsors, and to each and every one of the exhibitors and vendors who bring their information, products and spirit to our festival. Please support them and show them how much you care that they care about you. On a personal note, I need to thank the board of Show Me Pride. For your support, your work, your friendships, your enthusiasm and your determination, you are to be honored and respected. To my community, thank you ... thank you ... thank you ... for your voices, your opinions, your desire to move Kansas City forward. ...You make me proud.
So with complete pleasure, we bring you Pride Week 2010. Our sincerest desire is that you all “come-in-unity,” showing our cities, states, nation and, indeed, the world that we have much to educate them about, to continue to move us forward in our own liberation, and to celebrate our diversity, all while showing our unity and commitment to one another. Enjoy, and be then ... now ... forever … PROUD!
Rick Bumgardner
President, Show Me Pride

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