Last years Ferndale Pride fest was rolling. The 2014 event is planned for May 31. File photo Andrew Potter.

Gearing Up For Ferndale Pride

By Shelby Clark Petkus

Ferndale Pride is a yearly event in Downtown Ferndale celebrating all LGBTQA, featuring food, entertainment, shopping and more; over 10,000 people attend each year. This year's event will be emceed by Gay Billy, Nina Ross and Natalie Cole. Multiple DJs, rallies and entertainment will be held throughout the downtown area, include a wedding and commitment ceremony on the main stage of the event. Food trucks, such as Shimmy Shack and Treat Dreams, will be serving throughout the festival. Blue Care Network is presenting a Children's Area, and a variety of retail and nonprofit booths will be present.

Ferndale Pride will take over the downtown Ferndale area this year on Saturday, May 31, but festivities don't have to wait until then.

All proceeds raised for Ferndale Pride during May and at Pride will stay within the community, supporting Affirmations, Michigan AIDS Coalition (MAC) and the Ferndale Community Foundation. Rosie O' Grady's is at 279 W. Nine Mile, Ferndale and will be hosting a variety of pride-related events throughout May and June, including a drag show and brunch the Sunday after pride.

Another event putting the "fun" in "fundraiser" will be held at 9 p.m. on Friday, May 16 at SOHO Ferndale, 205 W. Nine Mile. The no-cover event will feature a contest for all males, 35 and older, to be crowned the "Hottest Daddy" of Ferndale. Those not eligible or interested in entering the contest are invited to vote for their favorite, applying $1 for every vote. Together with raffle tickets, the proceeds from the event will benefit Ferndale Pride, helping to keep the event free.

Outside of nights on the town, Ferndale Pride is promoting preparation for their May 31 as well.

Volunteer

To get more involved in the organization of the main event itself, Ferndale Pride Planning Meetings will be from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 15 and Wednesday, May 28 at Affirmations, 290 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale.

On May 17, the Ferndale Community Foundation will host their annual "Clean the Ferndale Up!" event. The all day, downtown Ferndale event works to clean up the city right before the big LGBT event. Clean the Ferndale Up! brings volunteers, groups, businesses and more to help improve public spaces for the community, repairing and restoring neglected, vandalized or misused areas. To help beautify the city before Ferndale Pride, visit http://www.cleantheferndaleup.com or call 248-672-4067.

Pride Prom, Rainbow Run

Pride Prom will be held on the eve of the event on 8 p.m., May 30, at the Ferndale Public Library, 222 E. Nine Mile Road. The 21+ event will feature a DJ, cash bar, refreshments, photos and more. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

The morning of Ferndale Pride will kick off the high-energy day with the Rainbow Run. The annual 2k and 5k walk and run winds through downtown Ferndale, where participants wearing white t-shirts are splattered with non-toxic powdered paint. By the end of the race, a rainbow of runners and walkers show their very visible pride.

All who support diversity, acceptance, anti-bullying programs and more are welcome to join the inclusive, fun and family-friendly event. The proceeds benefit area non-profits including Affirmations, the anti-bullying program, Upstander, the Ferndale Community Foundation and the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce.

To register for the event, call 248-542-2160 or visit http://www.rainbow-run.com. Registration for the May 31 event begins at 8:45 a.m. the day of, and rates range from $15-35 per person. Run and walk times are staggered beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Brunch

If running seems a bit tiring before the all-day party of Pride, Dino's Lounge will be hosting a bottomless Bloody Mary and Mimosa brunch for pride from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 31. Dino's is located at 22740 Woodward Ave., Ferndale.

For more information, including an expanding list of pre- and post-pride events, visit http://www.ferndalepride.com or check out Ferndale Pride's Facebook page.
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