Second annual Michiana Pridefest draws 1,000+ to Niles

Published 8:58 am Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

NILES — More than 1,000 people gathered at Riverfront Park Saturday, June 15 to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community at the second annual Michiana Pridefest.

Sponsored by dozens of businesses and organizations including Corewell Health, Honor Credit Union, Lake Michigan College and Four Winds Casinos, the family-friendly event featured a drag show, sponsor, non-profit and artisan booths – including Michiana Boardgamery, Forte Coffee, Trinity Episcopal Church, The Weaver’s Nest and more – activities for children, food trucks, a DJ and live entertainment. 

“We had a beautiful PrideFest for the second year in a row,” said organizer Hailey Colpitts. “Our attendance was incredible; Thank you all so much for proving that queer people here exist and are visible and proud. We can’t wait to do this again next year.”

The event was the second planned by the Outcenter of Southwest Michigan this month after the inaugural Cass County Pridefest June 8 in Dowagiac. It has one more Pride event scheduled for the area, the third annual Twin Cities Pridefest from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 22 at Dwight P. Mitchell Park in Benton Harbor.

“OutCenter Southwest Michigan has been phenomenal in supporting this project and the Pride Committee is appreciative and grateful for their support,” Colpitts said. “Thank you (Gerik Nasstrom and MaryJo Schnell) for your hard work over the last few months.”