Bloomington to Host Inaugural Pride Celebration on Saturday | Bloomington

With a schedule change, the show will continue as Bloomington hosts its first pride festival this weekend.

The celebration of the contributions of people who identify as lesbian, gay, trans bisexual, gay or other gender identities will take place on Saturday, August 14 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the East Lawn of Bloomington Civic Plaza, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road.

The festival will offer musical entertainment, stories and comic presentations. The drag performers will feature the comedy and the stories, and Bloomington officials have removed one of the performers from the program in response to objections from Bloomington residents.

Residents questioned the backgrounds of performers associated with the Pride Festival at the Bloomington City Council meeting on August 2, including an artist alleged to produce amateur pornography. In the days that followed, the city announced that the artist was being removed from the entertainment lineup.

“The city took a long time to independently verify that the allegation was factual. The city has decided not to have this individual among the artists of the Pride event, ”according to an announcement from City Manager Jamie Verbrugge.

The city worked with an event organizer to organize entertainment during the festival and did not book performers, according to Mayor Tim Busse.

Senior city staff conducted their investigation after hearing the objections and reviewed their findings on August 3, resulting in the artist’s removal from the lineup, he explained.

The city’s inaugural festival follows other actions by the city in recent years in support of the LGBTQ community.

The city has an annual proclamation in support of the LGBTQ community and was present at the annual pride festival held at Loring Park in Minneapolis. Busse represented the city at the festival, and it is the only suburban municipality participating in the festival, he noted.

The city’s support for the LGBTQ community had prompted questions about when Bloomington would host an event. Thanks to the efforts and leadership of the city’s Human Rights Commission, the city’s inaugural festival was born, Busse said.

The Bloomington Festival is intended to be an annual event and is not intended to compete with the multi-day Minneapolis Festival. The city was unable to attend this year’s Minneapolis Festival due to the uncertainty of the event in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Busse noted.

The town hosts occasional events showcasing the cultural diversity of the people of Bloomington, and its pride festival is akin to those celebrations, according to Busse.

“We want to be an inclusive community,” said Busse. Bloomington is welcoming and safe for all residents, and the festival is a demonstration of that, he added, calling it “an important part of the community’s image.”

Planning for the city was limited due to uncertainty over public gathering restrictions again this spring. When the state removed restrictions on community gatherings earlier this year, the city’s event planning took off. Not all aspects of the city’s annual July 3 Summer Festival were included this year, but the Independence Day celebration has begun. Likewise, planning for a pride festival has gained momentum, Busse explained.

The Bloomington Festival will have sponsors and funds from city divisions will contribute to the overall cost. Just as the city’s Parks and Recreation Department sponsors free summer entertainment, the Human Rights Commission has a budget and has allocated $ 4,500 to the festival. An additional $ 2,600 from sponsors also funds the festival, according to Busse.

Information about the festival is available online at tr.im/pride21.

Follow Bloomington Community Editor Mike Hanks on Twitter at @suncurrent and on Facebook at suncurrentcentral.

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