Detroit, MI

Motor City Pride heads to Detroit Sept. 18 - 19

Mandi Angelique

An annual outdoor festival in Detroit, Motor City Pride, will be headed to Detroit's Hart Plaza Saturday, Sept. 18 and Sunday, Sept. 19.

The celebration, complete with a festival and parade, honors the love, lives, and diversity of Michigan's gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and allied communities.

"We want to inform, empower, and entertain the general public about problems that affect the GLBT community," according to

The History of Detroit's Motor City Pride

Motor City Pride dates to June 1972, when the inaugural march took place in downtown Detroit to protest discriminatory legislation and advocate for LGBT rights and equality. After a few years, the march was expanded to include a picnic following the march, which has evolved into our current festival.

The civil rights march along Woodward Avenue was followed by a demonstration in Kennedy Square from 1986 to 1988. Following the protest, a party was held in the McGregor Center on the Wayne State University campus, which was organized by a small group of committed Gay and Lesbian clubs and volunteers.

In 1992, DAGLC's new chairman, Michael C. Lary, split from the group and founded Southeast Michigan Pride to carry on the objective of bringing the GLBT community together. His presidency lasted till 2001. During this time, PrideFest's official name was changed to PrideFest Celebration.

The Triangle Foundation took over the PrideFest Celebration in 2001 as part of Triangle's community engagement efforts. It was renamed Motor City Pride and relocated to downtown Ferndale in 2003. It was led by Fred Huebener and Jackie Anding from 2002 to 2008, and Kevin McAlpine, Development Director at the Triangle Foundation, oversaw it.

The Motor City Pride Planning Committee, which has been in place since 2009, is led by a core group of Triangle Foundation volunteers.

The Triangle Foundation merged with Michigan Equality to form Equality Michigan; in 2012 Equality Michigan expanded the festival to two days and saw the return of a parade to the festival lineup of events.

Over 35,000 people attended the festival, which featured over 200 acts. Equality Michigan aided Motor City Pride in becoming its own 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation in 2017 so that the festival's organizing committee could focus on developing the festival and Equality Michigan could focus on its primary purpose of victim assistance, education, and legislative work.

Detroit's Heart Plaza is located at 1 Hart Plaza Dr. Detroit, MI 48226.

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