Successful Turnout at March Meeting; Lots of Festival Work Underway!

This past Sunday, volunteers met for the monthly Spencer Pride planning meeting.  Although planning for our event begins immediately after the prior year’s event ends, the work of our volunteers gets more intense in the months leading up to the festival.  As in past years, March is when things truly start to heat up.

The March volunteer meeting was attended by nearly 20 individuals
The March volunteer meeting was attended by nearly 20 individuals

A variety of things are happening with the festival planning.  Some general highlights include:

  • We have finalized our contract for this year’s billboards.  We will not only have 1 billboard in the Town of Spencer, but we will also have one at the Cloverdale exit along I-70!
  • We reviewed current vendor and sponsor sign-ups and encouraged volunteers to focus heavily on soliciting last year’s participants (since they are typically an easier group to firm up).   We have 43 vendors signed up so far for the 2017 festival.   As a part of this conversation, we discussed talking points for soliciting prior participants as well as new organizations and businesses.
  • All Town and County-related approvals have been granted.  We still need to work to secure our entertainment permit from the State Fire Marshall.
  • We have finalized the design of our new mascot.  It is a raccoon and will be named as a part of some type of activity at this year’s festival.  Our mascot will remain gender-neutral and prefers to go by the pronouns “they,” “them,”, and “their.”

In addition, there are three work streams focused on specific aspects of the festival.  Those teams include Activities, Marketplace, & Welcoming.  Each team has a volunteer lead that assists in coordinating the efforts of that particular group.  Key items of discussion during Sunday’s team meetings are noted below.

The Activities committee has a LOT on their plate this year and has hit the ground running.
The Activities committee has a LOT on their plate this year and has hit the ground running.

ACTIVITIES

  • The team agreed upon some rental items that they would like to see back again this year, such as the Dunk Tank & Slip-n-Slide.  They will continue to review options and will keep in mind the need to have things for people of all ages.
  • There was discussion about having other engaging activities as well, such as having wandering carnival-type entertainers and such.
  • The team discussed the Prism All-Ages Activity Zone and will be reaching out to Prism to coordinate.
  • The team is planning the Pet Pride Parade to take place at 12:30.  Prizes need to be determined as well as the parade general theme.
  • The team began discussing raffles, but this will be a larger topic next month.
  • A variety of entertainers have been confirmed already, including Quarryland, Different Drummers, Sarah Jayne, Adam Riviere, Kali Bently, & Zumba with Nancy Emerson.  Others have expressed an interest but we are still working to confirm.
  • The team discussed entertainment logistics (sound, etc.) and will continue to iron out the details.
  • Vicci Laine will coordinate the drag show again this year, as she has in years past.
The Marketplace committee got right to business at the March volunteer meeting
The Marketplace committee got right to business at the March volunteer meeting

MARKETPLACE

  • The team discussed ideas for improving vendor setup communication
  • The team discussed the challenges of assigning booth locations
  • The team agreed on key timelines for communication with vendors
  • At next month’s meeting, this team will focus heavily on the draft of the vendor setup communication (which will go out in Mid-May) and on developing a draft of the booth assignments (utilizing the same basic layout as 2016)
The Welcoming committee meets during our March volunteer meeting.
The Welcoming committee meets during our March volunteer meeting.

WELCOMING

  • The team discussed how to best distinguish the Welcome Booth from all other booths, to draw more attention to it
  • The team discussed how to improve the handling of money related to raffle sales, to make it safer and easier for those selling tickets
  • The team will reach out to a fellow volunteer who may be able to help design this year’s program.
  • The team will reach out to a local printer to determine if we want to print our fliers there
  • The team discussed plans for the Vendor Reception Area
  • At next month’s meeting, this team will focus on the design of the programs and fliers

Everyone is always welcome to help us plan our event.  It takes a lot of work to make our fabulous event possible and every volunteer truly makes a big difference.  For those individuals who are interested in volunteering in some way to assist our work, please reach out to us at info@SpencerPride.org and we will put you in touch with Judi Epp, our volunteer coordinator.

We had a great turnout at the March volunteer meeting

2017 Festival Theme Announced

We are excited to announce that this year’s Spencer Pride Festival theme will be “We The People.”

This theme was selected after soliciting our volunteers & the general public for ideas.  As always, we were looking for creative, family-friendly themes for our event.  After receiving approximately 10 suggestions, our volunteers combed through them at our February monthly meeting.  We discussed the pros & cons of each idea.  Ultimately, the volunteers decided to narrow the list down to two themes & then let the Spencer Pride Board of Directors make the final choice.

The top two themes sent for consideration to the Board were “We The People” & “Unity in Diversity.”  Both were great ideas & the Board was somewhat dividing initially.  Ultimately, “We The People” seemed the most appropriate theme for this year’s event.

The 2017 Spencer Pride Festival takes place on Saturday, June 3 from 10 AM – 5 PM on the downtown square of the Owen County Courthouse in Spencer.

If you’d like to join us in planning for this year’s festival, please let us know.  You can e-mail us at info@SpencerPride.org so that we can add you to our e-mail distribution list.  We meet on the first Sunday of every month at the Spencer Pride commUnity center from 4 – 6 PM.   This month’s meeting will take place this Sunday, March 5.

We the PEOPLE

Spencer Pride Featured on RTV6 (The Indy Channel)

On February 27, after the first night of the LGBTQ+ miniseries “When We Rise,”  Indianapolis television station RTV6 featured Spencer Pride in a segment that highlights our work in helping to make Indiana a more welcoming place for all people.   Paris Lewbell, an investigative reporter from RTV6 (also called “The Indy Channel”) selected Spencer Pride for this opportunity after learning how Spencer Pride has ‘become an emerging leader in LGBT equality in Indiana.”

We were thrilled to get this attention from one of the largest television stations in Indiana.

You can see the promotion for the segment here:  RTV6 Promo 2017 02 27

To see the full segment, which includes an interview with Spencer Pride’s president Jonathan Balash, please visit the link below.   In addition to Jonathan, several other volunteers are shown in the segment.

http://www.theindychannel.com/news/call-6-investigators/spencer-indiana-is-turning-the-table-on-small-town-stereotypes-and-looking-towards-the-future

RTV_Indy 2012