Second Annual Whitewater Pride Rally set for Oct. 1

Editor’s Note: The following was provided by Whitewater Unites Lives.

Help celebrate LGBTQ+ pride, diversity, and inclusion in our community at the second annual Whitewater Pride Rally from noon until 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Cravath Lakefront Park in downtown Whitewater.

“The Pride Rally is a way to support our kids and listen to the stories of their journeys,” Virginia Coburn, a Whitewater Unites Lives member and a Pride Rally committee member said. “Come to the rally. Be a friend to them and their families.”  

This family friendly event will include activities for children, adults and even the family pets all in support of our LGBTQ+ friends and neighbors with a focus on high school and college students.

The afternoon’s events include music, performances, vendors, and food trucks. Speakers will discuss the state of the LGBTQ+ movement locally and nationally.

“As a planning group, we believe it is important for communities like Whitewater to show that we, too, are supportive of LGBTQ+ students and others. Celebrating those who are out, coming out or thinking about it is critically important for rural communities to demonstrate real support for all that LGBTQ+ residents add to the fabric of vibrant communities” Stephanie Selvick, UW-Whitewater’s LGBTQ+ coordinator, said.

 “This event provides an opportunity not only to celebrate, but also to educate. Having a report on issues facing the LGBTQ+ community and their allies is an important part of inspiring and garnering additional support and activism for the community.”

Volunteers from Creative and Resourceful Educator (CARE), a UW-Whitewater student group, will be on site to lead children’s activities. A children’s corner will include story time with community leaders who will read a selection of LGBTQ+ children’s books. Among those participating are interim UW-Whitewater Chancellor John Chenoweth, interim Provost Robin Fox, and others.

Your pets are also invited to attend and participate in an inaugural Pride Pet Costume contest. Registration will take place from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on the day of the event. For the safety of your pets and others, please make sure all pets are leashed and comfortable with crowds.

            Whitewater’s Sweet Spot Café is providing support with Pride-themed cookies that will be available at the event. Support of the local business community is an important part of the continued success of this free event.

            “As an educator in this wonderful community, it’s absolutely inspiring and heartwarming to be part of this ever-growing event. Whitewater High School students talked about last year’s Pride Rally all year long,” Camden Harlan, an English teacher and co-advisor for the Gay-Straight Alliance at Whitewater High School, said. “Whether attendees gathered up the courage to speak on stage or experienced their first drag show (like me!), they will remember those moments for the rest of their lives. It’s the support of a resilient and inclusive community – businesses, schools, and municipalities – that allows us to celebrate and show our love for every human.”

            Event partners are Impact student organization, Unity Project, Whitewater Unites Lives, Whitewater High School Gay-Straight Alliance, The Book Teller, First United Methodist, and the Pride Center at UW-Whitewater.

            For more information call 262-472-7169 or check the event Whitewater Pride Rally Facebook event page.

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