Milwaukee Pride, Inc., the parent organization of PrideFest, announced that the four-day LGBTQ+ festival is canceled. The festival was set to take place at the Henry W. Maier Festival Grounds from Thursday, June 3 to Sunday, June 6, 2021.
This is the second year in a row PrideFest has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After much consideration, we cannot move forward with planning a June 2021 festival without knowing how and when a vaccine will be distributed throughout our community equally,” says Wes Shaver, Milwaukee Pride, Inc. President. “We cannot risk the health and wellbeing of our community by putting the festival ahead of the people it serves."
The Milwaukee Pride Board of Directors will consider rescheduling PrideFest for later in 2021 if public health conditions improve and a safe, public event seems plausible. The board is also exploring the possibility of different formats and locations if the Henry W. Maier Festival Park is unavailable.
Although PrideFest is canceled, Milwaukee Pride will continue to engage with the Milwaukee community on smaller events this summer to keep the Pride movement strong while still adhering to all recommended and mandatory guidelines.
“We don’t want people to think there will be no Pride this year,” said Luke Olson, PrideFest Festival Producer and VP of Milwaukee Pride, Inc. “We simply want to ensure we’re taking the right steps forward."
In lieu of services typically offered at PrideFest, this year Milwaukee Pride will launch a free, digital, state-wide directory of health and wellness services. The organization is accepting donations toward the initiative, which is no cost for the users or the advertisers.
"There are serious inequities within our community when it comes to accessibility to health care, medicine, and COVID-19 testing. PrideFest is a space for everyone. We cannot have any additional factors that create divides and fractures within our community," says Shaver.
For more information, please contact Wes Shaver at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718-962-5639.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.