Pride Festival of Central PA to Remain in Harrisburg

As spring approaches, Pride Festival of Central PA continues to forge ahead with planning the 2010 Pride Festival. The event is planned each year by an all volunteer board of directors. The group works all year long on the popular event that draws 5,000+ people.

Although charitable giving and sponsorships have decreased due to the poor economy, there will be a 2010 Parade and Pride Festival.

Last January, the organization extended an open invitation to the region’s lgbt and ally
organizations to attend a public meeting to discuss the event. Thirty-two people attended the discussion, most representing organizations. A consensus at the meeting was that festival organizers shouldn’t be afraid to explore other cities, other venues, to compare costs, the advantages and disadvantages of locations other than Harrisburg, and/or other Harrisburg-based sites.

After detailed research, continuous debate and consideration that began at that January community discussion, the Board of Directors of Pride Festival of Central PA voted March 2 to keep the annual festival in Harrisburg for 2010.

For the 2010 event, the economic realities of fundraising and sponsorships were taken into consideration. Fundraising and sponsorship drives that began in September 2009 have not produced the level of income needed to sustain the level of spending that occurred in 2009. Therefore, budgets for both the parade and festival have been revised in an effort to keep expenses in line with the actual costs of the event. The revised budgets also reflect the overall decrease in fundraising the organization is experiencing due to the poor economy.

Another twist for the 2010 event is the focus on local talent. Organizers have made an effort to bring in popular local talent, another change that reflects feedback from the community. The event will not present an expensive headliner, another decision partially based on community feedback.

There will be a 2010 PrideFest Unity Parade.
The parade does not generate much revenue and last year cost $20,000. Therefore, in order to keep that portion of the event affordable, the parade will return to its 2008 route and budget. That means the parade will form on Front St. and North St. and proceed south on Front St. to Walnut St , its original route. There will be a significant reduction in the number of invited and paid talent for the parade.

Pride Festival of Central PA Board of Directors hopes the community will be able to fill the void with increased participation of local organizations, businesses, and individuals.

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