Vermont to Celebrate LGBT Community in Northern New England’s Premier Pride Festival
The Pride Vermont Committee announced its plans today for the state’s annual Pride Vermont celebration, scheduled for September 21-22, 2012. The festivities, which will be held in September for the first time in order to better include Vermont’s large student population and foliage tourists, will include a cruise on Lake Champlain on Friday, September 21, a parade through downtown Burlington, and a pride festival, NOH8 Campaign photoshoot, and the Northern Decadence Food & Travel Expo in Burlington’s Battery Park on the 22nd.
“This year’s Pride Vermont promises to be more vibrant than ever before, with an incredible array of events and activities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and allied people and families to enjoy,” said Madelyn Baer, the Pride Vermont 2012 Director. “We look forward to celebrating Pride with people from all across the great state of Vermont, northern New England, upstate New York, and Canada, and we are honored to host the NOH8 Campaign this year, adding our faces to those from across the country standing up for equality.”
The annual Pride Cruise has been a highlight of Vermont’s Pride season since 1993. It is sponsored by Vermont Gay Social Alternatives (VGSA), Vermont’s premier LGBT social organization, and will be an evening filled with dancing and merrymaking featuring hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and entertainment by the House of LeMay and DJ Veena. It will be held on the Lake Champlain Ferry, which departs at 8:00 on Friday, September 21 from the King Street Docks in Burlington. Tickets can be purchased online at www.vgsa.com.
“Whether you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or a proud ally, this year’s Pride Cruise is an event not to be missed,” said VGSA Director Michael Knaapen. “Join us on the lake – it’s the perfect way to start Pride right!”
The Pride Parade will start at noon on September 22, beginning at the bottom of Church Street and winding all the way to the Pride Festival site at Battery Park. With students, families, and foliage tourists in town, a record-breaking turnout is expected to view the colorful parade of floats, performers, and marchers of all kinds. The festival itself will last from 1:00-4:00 pm. and include music and entertainment in the Battery Park bandshell, vendors, family, youth and activity tents, and community resources.
Produced by the Vermont Gay Tourism Association (VGTA), the Northern Decadence Food & Travel Expo will take place during the Pride Vermont festival at Battery Park on Saturday, September 22, 12:00-5:00 pm. Northern Decadence will showcase LGBT-friendly businesses from across Vermont and include food and wine samples, a silent auction, cooking demonstrations, and the popular Decadent Cupcake Competition. Tickets are $5 for adults; children 12 and under are free. For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.northerndecadence.com.
“Everyone knows that Vermont offers the best things in life: world-class gourmet food, dining, scenery, shopping, attractions, and entertainment,” said Willie Docto, VGTA President. “The Northern Decadence Food & Travel Expo is a great way to connect equality-minded Vermonters and visitors with LGBT-friendly businesses. Supporting equality has never been easier, or tastier!”
The NOH8 Campaign, which will hold an open photoshoot on September 22 from 1-4pm as part of Pride Vermont, is a photographic silent protest created as a response to the passage of California’s Proposition 8, which stripped same-sex couples of equal marriage rights. Hollywood-based celebrity photographer Adam Bouska photographs subjects wearing white, with a temporary “NOH8” tattoo on their cheeks and duct tape over their mouths. The duct tape symbolizes the way LGBT people around the world are silenced by anti-gay initiatives like Prop 8. Over 20,000 people, including celebrities like Kathy Griffin, Cindy and Meghan McCain, the Kardashian sisters, Jane Lynch, and Lance Bass have posed for the campaign; NOH8’s open photoshoots routinely attract hundreds of people to events across the country. Pride Vermont is teaming up with Truth Wins Out – a national, Burlington-based nonprofit organization that fights anti-LGBT extremism and the “ex-gay” myth – to bring the NOH8 Campaign to Vermont for the first time. More information can be found at www.pridevt.com.
“Participation in the wildly popular NOH8 Campaign will offer Vermonters the opportunity to fight hate in a uniquely special way,” said John Becker, TWO’s Director of Communications & Development. “Truth Wins Out and Pride Vermont want to encourage equality-minded people all across the region to attend the 2012 Pride Vermont Festival and get photographed for this great campaign.”
Pride Vermont is the statewide pride festival for Vermont’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and ally community. Equality-minded Vermonters gather to celebrate our state for its safe, healthy, empowering community that embraces all of life’s colors. We take Pride in Vermont’s progress towards equality and want Vermonters to know that being queer in Vermont is something worth celebrating. This year’s festivities consist of a week of activities culminating in the Annual VGSA Pride Cruise on September 21 and the Pride Vermont Parade, Festival, and Northern Decadence Food Expo on September 22.