History of Cleveland Pride

History of Cleveland Pride

Cleveland Pride celebrated its 25th Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Pride Parade and Festival on Saturday, June 29th, 2013.

Each June communities all over the world celebrate Gay Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969 that sparked the gay rights movement in America. Cleveland’s Pride is among the first half dozen such celebrations started in the U.S., making our Parade and Festival among the longest continuing Pride events in the country.

Our pride celebration began as a small event located on W. 29th Street, a small side street on the near west side with several hundred people, one stage and a dozen vendors. We added a Parade to our festivities in 1990 with 600 walking tall. In 1994, we came out of our closet moving first to public square and then in 1996 to our current location at Voinovich Park, behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, enjoying the amazing Cleveland skyline and the wonders of Lake Erie.

Our Parade steps off from W. 3rd and St. Clair, proceeds east on Lakeside, then north on E. 9th taking over 3,000 folks including over 35 floats and 50 community groups directly into Voinovich Park. Our Festival features three stages, a food court, a beer garden, dancing and in partnership with the Lesbian Gay Community Service Center also includes a children’s pavilion, youth zone and senior space. Our festival has grown to over 22,100 attendees, gay and straight, who come to celebrate our LGBT community and demonstrate our success building bridges within our community and all of Greater Cleveland.

2013- 25th Silver Anniversary
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: 3567 Festival: 26,247
Board: Todd. J. Saporito Board President/CEO, Ervin Reed Board Treasurer/CFO; Nicholas L. Dybo Board Vice-President/COO, Jon Brittain Board Secretary/CAO
Logistics & Planning Coordinators: Michelle Nicopolis, Dan Miller, Brionna Brooks, Andrew Baker, Annette Morrison, Charles Mesrobian
2012- Equality for All: Celebrating our Allies
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: 1897 Festival: 19,400
Board: Todd. J. Saporito Board President/CEO, Ervin Reed Board Treasurer/CFO; Nicholas L. Dybo Board Vice-President/COO, Jon Brittain Board Secretary/CAO
Logistics & Planning Coordinators: Michelle Nicopolis, Dan Miller, Brionna Brooks, Andrew Baker, Annette Morrison, Charles Mesrobian
2011- Equality for All: Embracing Our Diversity
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: 2,950 Festival: 17,800
Board: Todd. J. Saporito President/CEO, Ervin Reed
Logistics & Planning Coordinators: Sonja Leftwich, Diane Jackson, Jon Brittain, Michelle Nicopolis, Kim Hunyor, Randy Rensko, Jim DeLong, Dan Miller, Lois Elswick, Jen Rogers, Brionna Brooks, Andrew Baker, Micheal McFarland, Theron Dannemiller, Tom Lewis, Annette Morrison, Charles Mesrobian, Anthony Covatta
2010- Equality through Diversity
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: 2,500 Festival: 15,000
Board: Jeff Steinberg President/CEO, Charles Mesrobian Treasurer/CFO
Coordinators: Sonja Leftwich, Diane Jackson, Jon Brittain, Michelle Nicopolis, Keith Madden, Adam Bowers, Bella Sin, Chris Cavna, Kim Hunyor, Todd Saporito, Al Christian, Devinity “Tameka” Jones, Joshua Dudeck
2009- Equality through Unity
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: 3,200 Festival: 10,100
Board: Todd J Saporito President/CEO, Lee Dybo Treasurer/CFO
Coordinators: Matthew Hout, Keith Madden, Michelle Nicopolis, Jeff Steinberg
2008- Generations of Pride
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: 3,000 Festival: 12,500
Board: Todd J Saporito President/CEO, Lee Dybo Treasurer/CFO
Coordinators: Jamie Moore, Brynna Fish
2007 – Cruising with Pride
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: 2,100 Festival: 8,500
Board: Alexander Leopold Pres, Jean Kosmac Tres
Coordinators: Brynna Fish and Dan Kilbane
2006 – Calling All Heros
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: 2,500 Festival: 7,500
Board: Keli Zehnder Pres, David Ream Tres
Coordinators: Brynna Fish and Vivian Schilla
2005 – The Greatest Pride
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: 2,000 Festival: 6,000
Board: Keli Zehnder Pres, David Ream Tres
Coordinators: Brynna Fish and Brian Thornton
2004 – Are You Proud?
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: 1,400 Festival: 5,000
Board: Brian Thornton Pres, Mike Dodge Tres
Coordinators: Brynna Fish and Joan Burda
2003 – 24.7.365
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: 1,200 Festival: 4,750
Board: Brian Thornton Pres, Rick Starn Tres
Coordinators: Brynna Fish and Joan Burda
2002 – Thinking Outside the Triangle
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: 1,100 Festival: 4,500
Board: Bob Krabbe Pres, Rick Starn Tres
Coordinators: Brynna Fish and Ron Grey
2001 – Imagine all the Pride
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: 1,100 Festival: 4,500
Board: Bob Krabbe Pres, Rick Starn Tres
Coordinators: Brynna Fish and Ron Grey
2000 – Planet Pride
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: 1,324 Festival: 4,250
Board: Rick Starn Pres, Tim Jenkins Tres
Coordinators: Brynna Fish and Brooke Willis
1999 – Peace, Love, Pride
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: none Festival: 1,000
Board: Rick Starn Pres, Tom Isabel Tres
Coordinators: Brynna Fish and Brooke Willis
1998 – Believe the Power of Pride
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: 1,103 Festival: 4,000
Board: Rick Starn Pres, Tom Isabel Tres
Coordinators: Brynna Fish and Brooke Willis
1997 – Cleveland Pride Family Reunion
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: 1,234 Festival: 3750
Board: Rick Starn Pres, Tom Isabel Tres
Coordinators: Brynna Fish and Brooke Willis
1996 – Pride at Pier Park
Location: Voinovich Park Parade: 1,264 Festival: 3,500
Board: Rick Starn Pres, Scott Hare Tres
Coordinators: Brynna Fish and Brooke WillisVendor survey about LGBT inclusion.
1995 – Walk the Dream, Tim Hillyard March
Location: Public Square Parade: 832 Festival: 2,500
Board: Nancy Logan Pres, Scott Hare Tres
Coordinators: Brynna Fish and Izzy SchachnerBilly Graham was at the old Browns Stadium, that day, and Bob Strohman and other religious leaders.
1994 – Community of Pride
Location: Public Square Parade: 900 Festival: 2,500
Board: Nancy Logan, Scott Hare, Jay Ruffin Tres, Martha Pontoni, Brian Dewitt and Doug BraunCoordinators: Brynna Fish and Izzy Schachner
1993 – Family of Pride
Location: West 29th (old Center) Parade: 600 Festival: 1,800
Board: Nancy Logan, Scott Hare, Jay Ruffin, Martha Pontoni, Brian Dewitt and Doug Braun
1992 – Evolution Revolution
Location: West 29th (old Center) Parade: 600 Festival: 1,500
1991 – Bridging the Gaps
Location: West 29th (old Center) Parade: 1,000 Festival: 2,000
1990 – Look to the Future
Location: West 29th (old Center) Parade: 600 Festival: 2,000
1989 – An Out of the Closet Experience
Location: W.29th (old Center) Parade: none Festival: 1,000
Founders: Bob Laycock, Brian Dewitt, Doug Braun, Susan Schnur, Drew Cari, Kevin Beanie, Jay Ruffin, and Martha Pontoni
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