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Glad to be Gay

Jun. 6, 2017
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As the late, great Prince once sang, “Let’s go crazy, let’s get nuts.” Why? It’s time for Milwaukee PrideFest, that’s why! The booze, the boys, the bands, the booze…I can’t wait to hit the lakefront pavement this year! The fest runs June 9-11 at the Summerfest grounds, and you don’t want to miss it. In fact, you can celebrate with me during the Miss BJ Daniels Revue at the Dance Pavilion at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 10. It’s going to be a blast!

While there sure is a lot of craziness to be had during PrideFest, there are also plenty of opportunities to listen and learn. Don’t get me wrong. I like to party as much as the next girl, but I also plan to hit the marketplace, the comedy shows, the Wom!nz Spot Café, the PrideFit area and, of course, the History Building. There’s a lot more to do than drink and party at PrideFest, so this year, why not truly explore the grounds and carve out a PrideFest that’s ideal for you?

I know what you’re thinking. “But Ruthie, we have a long way to go to reach the LGBTQ equality we seek.” I understand and agree with you. I mean, one day we’re celebrating the Marriage Equality Act, and the next day everyone is up in arms over who uses which bathroom! I get it, my friends; however, let’s make this week a celebration of how far we’ve come as a community. Let’s make this a time to acknowledge the dedication others have shown to improving our community. Let’s make this PrideFest one of love, laughter and learning. Let’s make this a PrideFest to remember!


June 8: Big Gay 5K Run at Veterans Park (1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive): Kick off your pride celebration on the right foot with this sixth-annual run/walk. The teams at Milwaukee Gay Sports Network and AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin open registration at 5 p.m. with the step off at 6:30 p.m. Work those hammys while getting a head start on Pride for a $35 registration fee.

June 9: Pride Kickoff Retro Style at Center on Halsted (3656 N. Halsted St., Chicago): Spice up the week with this ladies-only version of “The Dating Game.” Presented by By Women for Women, the 6-10 p.m. night includes a $40 door charge with access to the live game show, retro cocktails and more during the ultimate girls’ night out. 

June 9, 10 & 11: Milwaukee PrideFest at the Summerfest Grounds (200 N. Harbor Drive): It’s here! It’s time to get your pride on during the biggest, busiest, brassiest, most beautiful bash of the year! From Friday afternoon’s opening ceremony to the last note played at the dance pavilion on Sunday night, PrideFest is the place to be. Swing by pridefest.com for a complete lineup of entertainers, ticket information and other useful tidbits. For instance, did you know you get free admission on Friday from 2:30-4:30 p.m.? No? Well, see the website before you hit the fest to discover more about such specials. I’ll see you there! (Buy me a drink.)

June 11: Pre-Pride Parade Show at Fluid (819 S. Second St.): Some of the city’s favorite drag queens hit the streets during this 1 p.m. pre-parade party. Don’t miss the change-of-pace show with a huge outdoor bar, drink specials and ideal parade-watching spots. Comedy queen Lizzie Bordeaux hosts. (If you see me there, buy me a drink.)

June 11: Milwaukee Pride Parade (Second and Greenfield to Second and E. Oregon streets): You can’t have a pride celebration without a pride parade, and Milwaukee has an incredible one! Grab a lawn chair or set your keester on a curb and get ready for one helluva show. This year’s parade, themed “The Pulse of Pride Still Beats,” promises all the floats, marchers, kings, queens, flag wavers, bead throwers and partygoers you’ve come to expect. The overall parade experience gets bigger and better every year, so see what’s in store at prideparademke.org. Step off is at 2 p.m. with bars up and down the route offering pre-parade parties, shows and more. See the website for FAQs. See you at the parade! Watch for me (and buy me a drink)!

Want to share an event with Ruthie? Need her advice on a situation? Email dearruthie@shepex.com. Be sure to follow her Facebook (Ruthie Keester) and Twitter (@DearRuthie). 


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