Lafayette sure knows how to throw a party! On Saturday, August 21st, Spencer PRIDE members Felix, Jacob, Jonathan, and Jerry departed our fair community and headed deep into the heart of Boilermaker territory to take part in the third annual OUTfest. Once we arrived in downtown Lafayette, we set-up our brand new canopy and then brought out all of our materials and giveaways. According to The Exponent Online (Purdue’s daily student newspaper), “This year Pride Lafayette estimated that 8,000 people came out for OUTfest.” When the doors officially opened at four o’clock, attendees began flooding in and venturing out onto Main Street to see what the festival had to offer. For the next 6 hours our members distributed hundreds of free giveaways and provided information to thousands of festival-goers.
Our members found that Lafayette – like Fort Wayne – has a diverse and welcoming community who expressed a high interest in the efforts of Spencer PRIDE and our annual festival. Spencer PRIDE received a lot of sign-ups for our new electronic newsletter, which is set to launch in September. (If you’d like to be added to the distribution list for the upcoming newsletter, please send your request toinfo@SpencerPRIDE.com. The newsletter will come out quarterly and we will send e-mails to members of the distribution list no more than 4-6 times per year.)
We also sold two different styles of Spencer PRIDE t-shirts and ice cold water (although we struggled selling water at the event because a nearby vendor decided to give it away as a part of their advertising campaign). For the second Pride event in a row, we also made a variety of new contacts to help make our own PRIDE Festival larger and more diverse.
When the street fair ended at ten o’clock, our members quickly cleaned up our booth and packed up the two vehicles used to transport items to OUTfest. Then, they high tailed over to the drag show which took place on the West Stage. Gathering with the hundreds of others who also watched the show, the members reflected on what had been a tremendously productive day in Lafayette.
Head over to our YouTube page for the OUTfest video that has been produced by Spencer PRIDE member, Technical Coordinator, and Web Mistress Amber (she has earned every one of those titles). If you have not already done so, please check out the video she produced to document our trip to Fort Wayne Pride in July.
Although Indiana’s summer pride season has now come to an end, our outreach efforts will continue on in to the fall. Spencer PRIDE will be at the Apple Butter Festival on September 20th and 21st. We also have two major events planned for October in honor of Gay History Month, including a film showing of Out in the Silence (an event done in partnership with the White River Valley PFLAG and the Spencer Presbyterian Church) and a educational campaign planned for several rural libraries in south central Indiana. More details about our future activities will be posted on the website over the next few weeks.