After nearly three decades and several bumpy years, Cleveland Pride is no more. Last year’s 28th festival June 24, 2017, will go down in the records as its final fling.
But the news is good: Cleveland Pride has agreed to merge with Pride in the CLE, organized by the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, returning Cleveland to a single, consolidated Pride celebration taking place Sat 6/2 at Public Square.
Pride in the CLE launched two years ago when, just a few weeks prior to its scheduled date, Cleveland Pride announced that their festival which in recent years has taken place at Voinovich Park behind the Rock Hall, was cancelled for 2015. Community leaders and members of the Center’s board sprang into action and put together a new event in less than two weeks.
In 2016, Pride in the CLE moved ahead with plans for its second year, while Cleveland Pride followed with its own event, giving the city two events last June. In January, Pride in the CLE announced the date for its 2018 but no such information was forthcoming from Cleveland Pride — and then it posted the news of the merger on Thu 3/8.
The merger will give more groups and organizations a chance to plan events around a single major festival week. “Planning is well underway for this year’s Pride in the CLE, which will include a series of fun, inclusive events throughout the community from Thursday, May 31 to Sunday, June 3,” say Pride in the CLE organizers. “The signature march and festival will be held on Saturday, June 2nd at Cleveland’s Public Square.”
Cleveland Pride’s challenges actually began in 2015 when the festival, which would have fallen the day after the U.S. Supreme Court announced the Obergefell v. Hodges decision which guaranteed marriage equality, was cancelled due to a major storm. Because of the demand for a celebration, a rain date was quickly put together for August.
Go to prideinthecle.com for updates and more information.