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Fremont holding first-ever Pride festival in July

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 7:02 PM EDT
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FREMONT, Ohio (WTVG) - Events celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride have become commonplace in large cities, but they’re much rarer in smaller communities. But this year, the city of Fremont is planning its first Pride festival, and planning to go big!

On July 10th, Walsh Park will be filled with people celebrating Fremont’s first ever Pride festival.

“It’s important to know that, “Hey, there’s something here for me. I don’t have to leave the place that I live to be around people that are like me. To be in a place where I can be myself, to go where I can be loved and accepted regardless of how I identify or who I love,”” says Stevie Keck.

Keck decided that Fremont needed its own Pride festival after seeing the success of drag shows at Da Love Pit, Fremont’s gay bar. Keck grew up in Fremont, and now returns to Da Love Pit once a month as Stevie Phoenix, their drag alter ego.

“It was really kind of on my heart to really bring something for the LGBTQ community to enjoy here,” says Keck.

But Pride will be different. It’s out in the open, not confined inside the walls of one bar. So how is the community responding?

“Anytime you do anything like this, you’re going to get a little bit of pushback here and there, but that’s been very minimal and very drowned out by the overwhelming support from the leadership of Fremont,” says Keck.

“It may not be the popular thing to do as a conservative Republican,” says Fremont Mayor Danny Sanchez.

When Mayor Sanchez heard about Pride, he offered to help, and will be speaking at the event.

“As the Mayor of Fremont, that we would be supportive to be an inclusive community and honestly it just comes down to treating people the way you want to be treated,” says Mayor Sanchez.

Even though Fremont is small, and this is the first Pride, Keck is going all out. There will be shows, vendors, food, drinks, music, and everything you would expect to see at a big city Pride fest.

“The LGBTQ community deserves excellence,” says Keck.

The festival is July 10th 12:30-8:30 at Walsh Park. Admission is $5.

There are a series of fundraisers leading up to the event. Two will take place on Saturday - a movie screening and a trivia night. For more information about these fundraisers, and for more information about Fremont Pride, visit the website.

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