2016 Cleveland Pride Parade Canceled

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ATTENDEES AT 2015 CLEVELAND PRIDE PARADE; PHOTO BY EMANUEL WALLACE
  • Attendees at 2015 Cleveland Pride Parade; Photo by Emanuel Wallace

The 28th annual Cleveland Pride parade, scheduled for Saturday, August 13, has officially been canceled by organizers who cited the current climate, without outright referencing violence toward the LGBTQ community, for the decision.

“We have been entrusted by our community to create a secure parade and festival environment for our LGBTQ brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, friends and allies,” said Todd J. Saporito, president and CEO of Cleveland Pride, Inc. “Because of the changing social climate, Cleveland Pride did not have enough time to engage in the development of awareness programs and training that we believe is critical in today’s environment. Therefore, we regretfully cancelled our 28th annual parade, rally and festival this year.”

The press release in its full is below.

CLEVELAND—The Board of Directors of Cleveland Pride, Inc. announced today that the 28th annual parade, rally and festival has been cancelled for 2016.

“We have been entrusted by our community to create a secure parade and festival environment for our LGBTQ brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, friends and allies,” said Todd J. Saporito, president and CEO of Cleveland Pride, Inc. “Because of the changing social climate, Cleveland Pride did not have enough time to engage in the development of awareness programs and training that we believe is critical in today’s environment. Therefore, we regretfully cancelled our 28th annual parade, rally and festival this year.”

Cleveland Pride's 28th annual parade, rally & festival was scheduled at a new location and parade route for August 13th, with the kick-off of the parade at noon, rally speakers at 1:30 p.m. and entertainers and music throughout the day. This will be the first year that Cleveland Pride will not host its annual event. Cleveland Pride has been organizing this annual celebration since 1989.

Cleveland Pride’s officers and lead volunteers extend their gratitude to all partners, sponsors, vendors, volunteers, and service providers for their dedication and energy contributed this year. Individuals, groups and organizations are the cornerstone of the engine that is Cleveland Pride.

“While the specific day of celebration has been cancelled, Cleveland Pride, Inc. seeks to remind everyone that Pride is not a one-day celebration, but a daily act of visibility throughout our community. While we may not be marching as a large, unified body, we can come together throughout Cleveland and continue our support of local LGBTQ establishments and LGBTQ community members.”

The planning team’s next steps will be to refund monies to vendors, sponsors and service providers. A team of board members and lead volunteers will initiate discussion for town hall meetings to further map out a program where we and other LGBT community partners, will be able to start crafting awareness and training programs, that will be beneficial on a day-to-day basis as well as prepared for our celebration in 2017.

Last year's event, which was originally scheduled for June but rescheduled for August because of weather, had 64 units and 1,500 participants and a near record amount of spectators. 


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