Happy Pride Month!

Here at outlook, we are getting our rainbows ready for a June full of festivities.

Prepare to be busy bustling around Cbus, because there is a whole month of Pride events to go along with the Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival on June 15-16, held at Goodale Park in historic Victorian Village. This two day celebration is one of the largest in the Midwest second only to Chicago, and is one of the few festivals in the country that continues to grow each year. In 2011 an estimated 210,000 people were in attendance. Yes, you read that right. 210,000 people. Holy crap, right?

Stonewall Columbus Pride festival was ranked as the 4th Best Event in Columbus by ColumbusUnderground.com readers and has received numerous awards over the last 30 years for being a “must do” event in Columbus. It doesn’t matter whether you are an ally or a member of the LGBT community, you can count on having a great time.

The festival weekend is a major fundraiser for Stonewall Columbus and The Center on High. Stonewall Columbus serves the Central Ohio LGBT community by providing a community center and offering programming and services that enhance the well-being and visibility of our diverse community through discovery, affirmation and celebration. Each program or service presented at the Center on High aligns with at least one of the organization’s core values: Health, Diversity, Faith or Art.

Two days of fun and frivolity (and sometimes debauchery) make up Pride Fest. Friday night’s concert featuring local bands and headline acts begins at happy hour and continues until 11p. Saturday the festival opens at 10a and runs till 8p.

Not into the entertainment lineup? (Really? Are you a robot?) Well, don’t worry! Over 150 vendors will be on hand selling artwork and other merchandise, and nonprofit organizations will be educating people on the work that they do every day for equality. A family area is set up to entertain children and their parents in a safe and supportive atmosphere. Special areas are also designated for our senior and teen community. There is literally something available for everyone.

On Saturday, organizers stage a march down High Street starting at noon with your favorite GLBT, progressive mag bringing up the rear. The parade is a celebration of LGBTQIA culture and thousands of spectators line the parade route to watch the spectacle. Want to watch and a participant? You can watch the whole parade, then join in and help carry outlook’s giant flag at the very end!

On Sunday, Pride festival weekend wraps up with the annual Stonewall Pride Brunch from 11a-1p. After brunch, head over to Dodge Park for Bat-n-Rouge, the annual drag queen softball game. A day at the ball diamond is a great way to wind down from the weekend.

Remember, although the Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival is the third weekend in June, Pride isn’t limited to just one weekend – there are several other coordinating events around the city all Pride Month long. And we have the line up for you right inside these pages.

We can’t wait to see you out & about, and if we don’t – be safe, and have a Happy Pride!