Following backlash, PrideFest to host final day in Peace Plaza
Organizers of PrideFest have reached a deal with the Rochester Downtown Alliance to hold the finale of the four-day event in Peace Plaza.
The decision to move the final day of PrideFest back downtown followed public criticism of an announcement that the annual event would be held at Wicked Moose. Organizers cited an increase in fees, as well as Wicked Moose's offer to host the event for free, as reasons for changing the venue.
In response, supporters of PrideFest who wanted to maintain a downtown presence rallied to raise more than $1,000 in donations. Mayor Ardell Brede, a longtime supporter of the LGBT community, even used some of his discretionary mayoral fund to help out the cause.
“We are happy to have the opportunity to work with PrideFest to find a positive and mutually beneficial solution for both organizations,” Jenna Bowman, RDA's executive director, said in a news release sent out late Wednesday. “We appreciate the leadership of PrideFest and their supporters in making it possible to keep PrideFest in the heart of the city."
The first three days of the event (July 14-16) will still take place at Wicked Moose; only the final day (July 17), the vendor event, will be held at Peace Plaza.
“Working together with the RDA and community on this was a critical decision," said PrideFest co-chair Gale Julius. "It sent a signal that change was possible and that people’s concerns mattered."
PrideFest organizers are seeking event sponsors and asking the community to consider providing donations to sustain this and future years of the event.
More information on the event can be found here.