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Published on Thursday, May 8, 2014

Great Lakes USA LGBT Calendar of Events

As the Great Lakes USA preps itself ready for the crème de la crème of sporting events, the Gay Games, we include a roundup of some of the other exciting festivals and events taking place in the Great Lakes region this summer.


Dates for the Diary

Gay Games

Joining the ranks of cities such as Cologne, Vancouver, Amsterdam and San Francisco,

Cleveland + Akron in Ohio will proudly play host to the Gay Games (GG9).  Offering 35 sport and cultural events, athletes from across the globe will set sail and open swim in Lake Erie, run the world famous Akron Marathon course and bowl in one of the largest alleys east of the Mississippi River. Not to mention, participants will compete in the increasingly popular categories such as dance sport, cheer and synchronised swimming.  In addition to the anticipated opening and closing ceremonies, GG9 will also feature concerts, themed parties and exhibitions, as well as a lively Festival Village.

9-16 August, 2014


Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo

This exhibition features 41 black-and-white images of participants in the gay rodeo taken by award-winning, Los Angeles-based photographer, Blake Little.  The images date back to 1988 when Blake became captivated by the gay rodeo scene.


This is the first display of the exhibition, highlighting an often ignored part of American Western culture.  Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo and associated public programs at the Eiteljorg are a part of the museum's 'Out West' series. The series, created and produced by independent curator Gregory Hinton, illuminate the many contributions of LGBT communities of the American West, and celebrate the diversity of the region.


The exhibit is now on until 13 July, 2014 at Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western art, Indianapolis.



PRIDE in the Great Lakes USA

Be loud and proud with an abundance of fun filled jam-packed Pride festivals taking place in the heat of summer across the Great Lakes region…


Motor City Pride - This riverside festival is a weekend packed with picnics, a golf outing, Commitment Ceremonies, beer gardens and of course, a parade!   Motor City Pride culminates as the largest LGBT gathering in Michigan and is located at Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit.   Holding Pride in the historic Hart Plaza solidifies the notion of LGBT people as active parts of the larger community.

7-8 June, 2014


Twin Cities Pride - The build-up for this Pride fest starts long before the end of June with a series of events and performances, LGBT outreach programmes and foodie delights.   Tag teamed between the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Pride itself is set to be even bigger as the celebrations continue following the 2013 legalisation of gay marriage in the state.

27-29 June, 2014


Indy PRIDE - This festival has more than tripled in the last five years, and is expected to draw in 100,000 visitors to enjoy the festivities and Indy's new eclectic bars and restaurant scene for 2014.  Located in downtown Indianapolis, it spans two neighbourhoods - Fountain Square Theatre District,  a gritty, artsy area with pubs, ethnic eateries, White Rabbit Cabaret Burlesque shows, and duckpin bowling, coupled with Mass Ave with a large theatre scene, specialty bookstores, bars and coffee shops.

6-14 June, 2014


Milwaukee Pridefest - Held on the Henry Maier Festival Park grounds, Pridefest Milwaukee always has an impressive performance line-up with past special guests having included Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin and Patty LaBelle.  The three-day festival features dance pavilions, a health and wellness stage, a culture and arts pavilion, a Milwaukee Gay Arts Center stage, and a wide range of children's and family activities. This year, the top headlining acts are Sophie B. Hawkins and Andy Bell (of Erasure fame), who will open the festival on the Friday night; the Indigo Girls, who perform on Saturday night; and Dangerous Muse and Amanda Palmer (of the Dresden Dolls), who will be performing Sunday night.

6-8 June, 2014


Chicago Pride - Celebrate the heritage and comradery in the city's annual party.  Two weeks of events culminate with a Pride parade featuring 200 outrageous floats and more than 800,000 revellers cheering every step of the way.

June, 2014


Springfield PrideFest - Held in downtown Springfield, IL, the town's celebrations make for a great family day out bringing together the whole community where guests can enjoy live entertainment, vendors selling local produce and lots of food and drink. Held in May PrideFest follows the annual Drag Race, a night of performances from drag artists and local celebrities, that is held in May.

17 May, 2014



Best of the rest….

Michigan LGBT Comedyfest - Get set to laugh out loud at Equality Michigan's Annual ComedyFest that is taking place on 8 March.  Located in Dearborn, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied communities will be entertained by some of America's finest comedians.

8 March, 2014


Fruit Fest - This is an annual LGBT free summer music festival, held in Madison, Wisconsin, for all-ages organised to celebrate Madison's gay community through a day of music, performance, art, and celebration.  Festival-goers can listen to local folk musicians, punk bands, and DJs while dancers and performers entertain and visitors enjoy the range of beer and cocktails.  The event will also include the Fourth Annual Fruit Loop, a 5K run/walk through the beautiful Marquette neighbourhood, starting and ending at the Fruit Fest event grounds.

14 June, 2014


Reeling Film Festival - Now in its 32nd year, this LGBT International Film Festival showcases some of the finest films and animation.  It is the second largest LGBT film festival in the US and showcases some of the best films across the globe.  The 2014 line up is still to be confirmed but with previous documentaries winning critical acclaim and notoriety for their contribution to the world of film, the standard is high for this year.  

September, 2014


Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival - This film festival showcases up to 30 films each year with selected films unveiling their premier to the audience.  From documentaries to shorts to features, all productions highlight the diversity in LGBT storytelling and film making.

November, 2014






Editor's Notes


The Great Lakes USA is the largest expanse of freshwater in the world with a unique and diverse landscape. This region which is the size of continental Europe includes the U.S. states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.


For further information on the Great Lakes USA, please contact Laura Mason-Byers at Cellet Travel Services on 08456 020 574.



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