Macomb County announces its first-ever Pride Festival in downtown Mount Clemens

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click to enlarge Macomb County Pride President Phil Gilchrist completing an interview during a Pride Picnic in Sterling Heights, June 2021. - Courtesy of Macomb County Pride
Courtesy of Macomb County Pride
Macomb County Pride President Phil Gilchrist completing an interview during a Pride Picnic in Sterling Heights, June 2021.

Macomb County — the county that basically handed former President Donald T*ump the 2016 election — is finally seeing rainbows.

Macomb County announced that it will host its inaugural, grassroots Pride Festival to celebrate its LGBTQAI+ community Friday, Oct. 15 through Sunday, Oct. 17 in downtown Mount Clemens.

The festival, which is described in a press release to be "inclusive" and "filled with good vibes," will get to a boozy start on Friday with a Pride pub crawl. Throughout the weekend, the festival will feature a family-friendly street fair with vendors as well as non-profit resources, drag queen storytime, and a roster of live performances from artists like DJ Emily Rogers, Mae James, Alise King, Kelly Zullo, James Taylor, Jr., Sing Out Detroit, and eclectic folk-rock outfit Nikki Holland & the Dirty Elizabeths, in addition to drag performances hosted by Crystal Harding, who will also host a ticketed drag brunch at Gumbo's on Sunday.

Attendees will also have an opportunity to receive their COVID-19 vaccine via a mobile vaccination clinic courtesy of the Henry Ford Health System. (In Macomb County, 50.9% of residents are fully vaccinated.)

Phil Gilchirst, who serves as Macomb County Pride President, will join Mount Clemens Mayor Laura Kropp and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackle to formally kick off the county's first pride fest with remarks at noon, joined by Congressman Andy Levin and Macomb County pride board member and Rachel Crandall-Crocker, founder of the International Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31).

While it may seem odd to hold a pride festival in the fall, this year, it became the norm. Many of this year's annual pride celebrations were rescheduled from June, which is recognized as Pride Month, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Events like Motor City Pride and Ferndale Pride were moved to September and October.

To learn more about Macomb County Pride or to purchase tickets to Sunday's drag brunch, visit macombcountypride.com/pride2021.

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