Cincinnati is set to celebrate 40 Years of Pride on Saturday at Sawyer Point.
Cincinnati's first Pride Parade and Festival was held on Fountain Square in April of 1973. Several years passed before another Pride celebration was held in Cincinnati. In 1979, the Greater Cincinnati Gay Coalition planned a Pride Rally at Fountain Square in honor of the 10th anniversary of Stonewall. Stonewall is the New York City bar police stormed in 1969, which is credited with igniting the GLBT rights movement.
The Coalition (which became the GLBT Center in 1993) continued with annual Pride events downtown thru 1998, but the community's enthusiasm waned after the passage of an extremely anti-gay issue in November 1993.
From 2000 through 2004, an independent committee organized an annual Pride Parade and Festival that was held at Hoffner Park in Northside.
In 2005, planning of Cincinnati's Pride celebration reverted back to the Coalition which was now named the Greater Cincinnati Gay & Lesbian Community Center. From 2005 thru 2009, Pride continued to be held in Northside at Hoffner Park and was organized by the Community Center.
In 2010, the Community Center passed the responsibility of organizing Pride to the Greater Cincinnati Gay Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber moved Cincinnati's Pride celebration back to Fountain Square for 2010 and 2011. In 2012, the Cincinnati Pride festival moved to Sawyer Point, again organized by the Chamber. Cincinnati Pride 2013 will be held at Sawyer Point once again.
To commemorate such a milestone the Grand Marshals for this year's parade are made up of many prior Grand Marshals.
"We are excited to have invited back so many deserving individuals from our community to serve as Grand Marshal for such a historic anniversary," said Steve Newsome, spokesman for Cincinnati Pride. "It's always important to remember your history and celebrate those who have helped us come so far. We know there is much work to be done but Pride marks the occasion where we all as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people can stand as one next to our straight allies."
There will be a total of 17 Grand Marshals for this year's parade.
Cincinnati Pride festival will take place at Sawyer Point from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Fireworks will complete the day along serpentine wall.
For more information on Pride and the week's events please visit www.CincinnatiPride.org.
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