Changes in store for 2024 Hamilton Pride festival

Credit: thomas pate

Credit: thomas pate

Hamilton Ohio Pride will mix things up a bit for its annual Pride event next month.

This year’s event will be the organization’s fourth since 2019, skipping in 2020 due to COVID. It celebrates love and fellowship by promoting unity, inclusion and awareness of sexual and gender diversity, said Hamilton Ohio Pride founder Taylor Stone-Welch, the 2023 Hamilton Citizen of the Year.

“What’s cool is the community’s growing with us as an organization, as an event, realizing we’re trying to be the kind of Pride event that’s appropriate for Hamilton, that’s accepted in our city and our county,” he said.

A large city’s Pride event, like in Cincinnati, can be intimidating to some. “We want to make sure our event has a different vibe to it since we’re a smaller town that’s more conservative,” he said.

One change is the end of the festival concert is not happening. Stone-Welch said it wasn’t as well attended as the festival itself, which is also why it’ll be an hour longer in 2024. Hamilton Ohio Pride is set for noon to 7 p.m. at Marcum Park in German Village. But Hamilton Ohio Pride 2024 will start at 11 a.m. with the annual rally and march at Rotary Park in downtown Hamilton. There will be a few speakers, and the few hundred that are expected to be at Rotary Park will march along the sidewalks down to Marcum Park.

Because they’re not ending with a concert, they’ll be able to expand the offerings of bands and drag performances, and use the RiversEdge stage all day. There will be a side stage out in the park and various performances on the RiversEdge stage.

“There will be more bands and drag performers than we’ve ever had before,” said Stone-Welch.

Because there won’t be a concert, Hamilton Ohio Pride has worked with the supportive businesses within the city’s DORA district to something akin to a bar crawl, with different post-festival events at the downtown establishments. The band Third Times A Charm, which will perform during the festival, will relocate to Municipal Brew Works for a post-festival performance.

“I’m a huge supporter of Hamilton Pride, not just from the LGBTQ standpoint but I feel like it’s a symbol of inclusivity in general for all marginalized groups,” said Ann Marie Cilley, owner of The Casual Pint on Riverfront Plaza. “They do something almost every year to pivot to keep the event fresh.”

But she also supports Hamilton Ohio Pride because they try to involve the local businesses.

“The fact that they are doing something to do after they shut down their event to encourage the participants to go out and about in the community is tremendous,” Cilley said. “I love that they consider the businesses, they work with the businesses, they recognize who their sponsors are; it’s just an awesome collaboration, and it’s run by a fantastic group of people.”

The Hamilton Ohio Pride event will have some new free events that incorporate all ages, including an arts and crafts station that The Studio will help run and operate. Additionally, the Lane Libraries will have a reading station featuring age-appropriate books for kids, teens and adults.

The Lane Libraries system has participated in the Hamilton Ohio Pride event since its beginning, and spokesperson Carrie Mancuso said like other public events, “it provides a great opportunity to connect with our patrons in the community.”

“At Pride, we provide book lists specific to LGBTQIA+ topics for readers of all ages and have staff on hand to answer questions about library services and collections, she said. “Inclusivity is an important element of our mission to serve all patrons and community events like Pride are great places to fulfill that mission.”

There will be three mobile Little Libraries to include more age-appropriate books, said Stone-Welch.

“Our idea is that so many books with queer characters or anything that’s remotely related to queer identity have been targeted by book banning,” he said. “We want to showcase these books that are perfectly acceptable for the right age ranges.”


For the complete lineup of bands and drag performances for the annual Hamilton Ohio Pride festival at Marcum Park, visit the Hamilton Ohio Pride Facebook page.

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