Hundreds gather at Marquette’s Lower Harbor for UP Pride Fest
Many in the LGBTQ community and allies expressed themselves freely while enjoying live music, food, and other activities
MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - It is Pride Month across the nation. And on Saturday, many people went to Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette for the return of UP Pride Fest.
Rainbow flags were worn and seen around the premises. For the first time in three years, the festival was in-person, giving LGBTQ folks the opportunity to express themselves freely. Entertainment & Volunteer Coordinator Mossy Schumann said it was also a way to raise awareness about the community.
“We’re here to educate folks on the fact that queer, trans, genderqueer and that whole umbrella...we’re your neighbors and your friends,” Schumann said. “We’re not some scary boogeyman. We’re people, too.”
Pride Fest has been held in Marquette since 2014.
Nearly a couple thousand people enjoyed some live music, drag shows, food, artistic activities, and custom-made pinball. Nonprofits like Planned Parenthood and the Women’s Center also made appearances.
One first-time attendee, Kaliyah Hutchins, called the experience “meaningful.”
“It’s a big deal, and not everyone supports it. So it matters when someone does support it and that they show up,” said Hutchins
Others, like Asher Joyal, were happy to see so much support from within the area, including from the vendors.
“The fact that it’s meaningful is the fact that a group of people, or maybe just one, came to Marquette to support the LGBT. The fact that I’m here makes me happy, and that’s my favorite part,” Joyal said.
Throughout the festival, Schumann said it was all about one thing: togetherness.
“You read the news, and they have these scare headlines about trans people (and) pretty much anyone,” said Schumann. “We’re here to be together, support each other and be here for the community. We’re here, we’re queer, and we’re not going anywhere soon.”
Luke Main was happy many could show up without facing prejudice.
“I just hope everyone was having a good time and just wanting to be themself. I don’t want other people to be judging people on something they can’t control,” Main said.
Funds raised during the event go toward Upper Peninsula Rainbow Pride and next year’s Pride Fest.
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