The 2015 Spencer Pride Festival was an amazing success by nearly all measures. An estimated 1500 people took part in the festivities of the ninth annual event in the heart of downtown Spencer. Especially notable was the continued and expanded presence of families.
The day was filled with activities for all-ages but especially popular was the entertainment on the main stage, the tasty food options, the inaugural pet parade, and the Prism All-Ages Activity Zone. In addition, the marketplace – which was the largest in Spencer Pride history by 25% – received great feedback by festival-goers, many of which spent hours perusing the items for sale and learning about important causes. The marketplace was spread throughout the entire lawn of the courthouse and spilled into Franklin Street as well, where most of the food vendors, the Owen County Public Library’s Bookmobile, and the PFLAG Yard Sale were located. The alpacas brought by SuPaca Farms were a HUGE hit with everyone!
Katie Zuber won the award for Spencer Pride Inc. Volunteer of the Year which was presented by president Jonathan Balash. Keegan Helms and Larissa Jones also received recognition for their hard work on behalf of the organization. Spencer Pride is 100% volunteer driven and without the help of amazing volunteers like Katie, Keegan, & Larissa, we wouldn’t be able to put on the Spencer Pride Festival.
Sheryl Daniels returned for her third year as Emcee of the Spencer Pride Festival. Sheryl is also the entertainment coordinator of the event, so she is responsible for all of the talented artists who perform.
The morning started off with SarahJayne Balash singing and playing both her guitar and ukulele and performing many of her original songs, including “Zombies.” It’s hard to believe SarahJayne just graduated from high school last week!
Adam Riveiere then entertained the crowd with a really diverse set of instruments, including the Australian didgeridoo. Those were some sounds we haven’t heard at the festival in year’s past, and they were FABULOUS! Adam was a really cool addition to the line-up this year.
Next, the Morley Brothers & Friends took the stage to the delight of many in the crowd. The Morley Brothers have entertained for our crowd before, and they definitely did not disappoint this year.
Shorty B then got the crowd moving and thinking with her awesome rap. Absolutely thought-provoking AND thoroughly excellent, Shorty B was invaluable as our crowd continued to build up near the main stage.
As Shorty B got the crowd moving, Different Drummer Belly Dancers did that and got heartbeats racing as well! They were absolutely fabulous as they showed the crowd their amazing talents. DDBD have performed at the Spencer Pride Festival in the past but the crowd for them this year was by far the biggest yet.
As the temperatures warmed up, the Vallures then took the stage for the first time ever at the Spencer Pride Festival. WOW! The crowd really enjoyed their talents and personality. The Vallures were a wonderful act to precede the drag show, given that they really kept the entire HUGE crowd captivated.
And finally, the Ladies of Spencer Pride drag show took the stage. Coordinated and emceed by Vicci Laine, the drag show was amazing. A crowd of nearly 500 people were present to watch the drag show alone, not even including everyone else on the grounds of the festival!
Participants included: Bendovah Plenti, Tia Mirage Hall, Cassidy Fellows-Sommers, Patricia Yolonda Weave, and of course, Vicci Laine.
The wonderful gender illusionists taught the crowd how to have an outstanding time and were the perfect ending to our entertainment line-up.
This year’s food vendors were very popular. From funnel cakes to french fries, there were plenty of tasty food options at this year’s festival. Farm Restaurant sold fabulous french fries (accurately described as ‘sexy’ by their booth!) that were a must-eat part of the event. They sold out of the awesome item before the festival was over. Rye’s Concessions sold corn dogs & elephant ears (among other items) and were very popular. The line was also consistent for ChiliHat concessions, who sold tacos, nachos, salads, and wraps. The refreshing organic treats from Indy Cool Suppliers were a crowd favorite and could be seen throughout the grounds of the courthouse all day long. Just Juls Sweets sold fantastic varieties of fudge and offered samples to taste all day long. The Thistle & Bean Coffee Company was the place to go for amazing home-made cream sodas and cotton candy. Shucker Shak offered their amazing corn-on-the-cob. Triple M Concessions sold shake-ups and other cool treats and sweets that were a welcome sight for festival-goers, especially as the weather heated up in mid-afternoon.
Our first-ever Pet Parade was really popular! Nearly 20 animals participated in the parade, which started on market street, traveled one loop around the courthouse, and then ended up on the main stage. Participants and their human companions were announced and then a panel of kids evaluated each one before announcing two winners – one for most colorful and one GRAND PRIZE winner.
In addition to dogs, the pet parade included cats & a goat as well! All of the pets seemed to enjoy the attention they received as a result of their involvement in the event.
Winners of the Pet Parade were Aran Mordoh with ‘Hoosier’ and Fawn Myers with her friend Danielle Jackson’s dog ‘Moxey.’
Next year, we plan to have an even larger Pet Parade and expect to see even more awesome animals!
PRISM-ALL AGES ACTIVITY ZONE
Prism Youth Community coordinated a variety of activities for this year’s festival, including jewelry-making, button-making, and more! One of the cool new additions for this year’s festival was also hosted by the Prism All-Ages Activity Zone – our first annual Coloring Contest! Kids were thrilled to show off their skills coloring the special page made by local artist Susan Shorter-Anderson exclusively for the 2015 Spencer Pride Festival!
All of the volunteers at Spencer Pride Inc. are so pleased with how this year’s festival turned out, and we hope that you are, too! We’ve received a lot of feedback from people at the event and even more afterward! It’s been overwhelmingly positive. People continue to recognize the uniqueness of what Spencer Pride is – a family-friendly rural LGBTQI pride event where ALL ARE WELCOME. Help us continue to spread the word about Spencer Pride. The 2016 Spencer Pride Festival will be held on June 4, 2016 and will be our 10th annual event! We have LOTS in store for it, so please stay up to date on what we are doing by continuing to visit our website and our Facebook page.
THANK YOU to ALL who attended the 2015 Spencer Pride Festival and who helped to make it our BEST YET!