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Pride event celebrates LGBTQ+ community

By Staff | Jul 14, 2017

Chronicle photo by Megan Hughart Members and allies of the Eastern Panhandle LGBTQ+ community descended upon Morgan's Grove Park last Saturday to celebrate Panhandle Pride.

The annual Panhandle LGBTQ+ Pride event was held last Saturday in Morgan’s Grove Park.

DJ JerrBear Jarvis kicked off the celebration, followed by performances by Luscious PURR, Michael Ratliff, Darrell Russ and the “Fabulous Drag Show” starring Stephanie Michaels and company.

There was also a “So You Think You Can Dance” competition where six performers put on their dancing shoes in attempts to win over the crowd and be crowned the winner.

“This is my first year attending, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I just think it’s really cool to see so many different people coming together and celebrating love,” said attendee Cody Bungard.

Several vendors, organizations and faith groups set up booths that ranged from petitions in favor of Planned Parenthood, free bracelets, healthcare information and local churches that offer acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community.

Pride attendees were asked to bring non-perishable canned goods to be donated to Jefferson County Community Food Bank.

Despite the celebrations, president and founder of the Eastern Panhandle LGBTQ Alliance John Mason announced this could be the last year for Pride in the Park due to a lack of volunteers and members.

Mason and other members recently stepped down from their positions and are now struggling to fill the seats.

“I love Pride because it’s such a celebration of love and acceptance,” said Vice President Andrea Cosans.