Motor City Pride

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Motor City Pride
Motor City Pride logo
Motor City Pride logo
Motor City Pride 2012 - crowd1.jpg
LGBT youth in attendance
at Motor City Pride 2012
Genre LGBT pride parade and festival
Begins First or second Saturday in June
Ends First or second Sunday in June
Frequency Annually
Location(s) Hart Plaza, Detroit, Michigan, United States of America
Years active 42
Inaugurated 24 June 1972
Most recent 7–8 June 2014
Attendance 44,000[1]
Budget US$220,500[2]
Organized by Equality Michigan

Motor City Pride is an annual LGBT Pride street festival produced by Equality Michigan and held in Hart Plaza in Detroit, Michigan the second Saturday and Sunday of June. Previously held in Ferndale, Michigan, the festival moved to Detroit in 2011.[3] It is the largest LGBT event held in Michigan. The event showcases both local and national performers including Nickki Stevens, The Fundamentals, and Eric Lehr.[1]



Detroit's first LGBT pride event was a march and rally, called "Christopher Street Detroit '72", was held in Downtown Detroit on Saturday, June 24, 1972. A march and rally were then held annually until 1977, when the event moved to Palmer Park for a rally and festival until the early 1980s. A festival was held at Wayne State University in 1984, and moved to St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in 1985.[4]

Also in 1985, a relatively new organization, the Michigan Organization for Human Rights (MOHR) hired an Executive Director from Ohio, Craig Covey, in part because of the large and successful Gay and Lesbian civil rights marches he organized in Columbus. In 1986, Craig Covey and MOHR organized Michigan’s first Gay and Lesbian march in Detroit. From 1986-1988, the civil rights march took place down Woodward Avenue followed by a rally at Kennedy Square.[4] A party took place at the McGregor Center on the campus of Wayne State University following the rally, organized by a small number of dedicated Gay and Lesbian groups and volunteers.[5]

In 1989, the Gay and Lesbian civil rights march was moved to the more central location of Lansing to attract statewide participation and political awareness as well as to celebrate the 20th anniversary of New York City’s Stonewall Riots.[4] Metropolitan Detroit was left without a LGBT march, rally and party, so during this same year, the first official Gay and Lesbian Pride Festival was founded and chaired by Frank Colasonti, Jr. and sponsored by the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Council (DAGLC). It began a tradition of being held on the first Sunday of June. That year the Pride Festival took place on the Dearborn Campus of the University of Michigan in the gymnasium.[6]


In 1990, the event’s name was officially changed to PrideFest, and was relocated to the Royal Oak campus of Oakland Community College. In 1992, the new chairman Michael C. Lary broke away from DAGLC and created the independent organization South East Michigan Pride to continue the mission of bringing the GLBT community together. His leadership continued until 2001. During this time period the official name of PrideFest became PrideFest Celebration.[6]

Triangle Foundation[edit]

In 2002, the PrideFest Celebration officially transferred to the then Triangle Foundation (now Equality Michigan) as part of Triangle’s community outreach activities. In 2003, it was officially renamed Motor City Pride and moved to downtown Ferndale. From 2002 to 2008 it was chaired by Fred Huebener and Jackie Anding, and coordinated by Kevin McAlpine, Development Director at the Triangle Foundation.[6]

Equality Michigan[edit]

Since 2009, Motor City Pride has been headed up by a core group of volunteers that form the Motor City Pride Planning Committee. In 2010, The Triangle Foundation merged with Michigan Equality to become Equality Michigan and Motor City Pride became a project of the new Equality Michigan. In 2011, Motor City Pride relocated to Hart Plaza in Detroit and expanded the festival to two days with the parade returning to the official lineup of events.[1][6][7]

Notable Performers[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "LGBT supporters pack Hart Plaza for biggest Motor City Pride in history". The South End. June 9, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Motor City Pride 2012 Unaudited Financials". Equality Michigan. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  3. ^ "2011 Motor City Pride gets bigger, louder than ever before". Between The Lines. 2011-02-17. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  4. ^ a b c "41 years of Pride". Out Post: 5. June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Motor City Pride - Event History". Equality Michigan. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Motor City Pride - History". Equality Michigan. Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Motor City Pride 2012 Expected To Draw 50,000 People To Downtown Detroit's LGBT Pride Festival". Huffington Post. June 1, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2013.