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Bozeman To Host 2011 Gay Pride Celebration

On the weekend of June 17th, 18th and 19th, Bozeman will be host to the
2011 Montana Pride Celebration, the state-wide annual gathering of all local and regional friends of the LGBTIQ Community and Two-Spirit Society (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Intersexual, and Questioning).
Graham Denholm - Getty Images News

A few thousand friends, families and allies are expected to gather to enjoy a packed-weekend schedule of entertainment, workshops, food, music and dance at the Emerson Center for Arts and Culture and Downtown Bozeman. Pride Weekend also includes a Diversity March on Main Street, Saturday morning, June 18th from 10am until 11:30, which starts at East Main and Rouse, and will end on the Emerson Lawn with a Diversity Rally and Festival following.

The annual Montana Pride Celebration is an event organized by the Montana Pride Network, a volunteer-run 501 C (3) non-profit organization with the mission to “…advocate, communicate and network in Montana to develop and support celebrations and events that empower and enrich Montana’s LGBTIQ and Two-Spirit communities and their allies.
Pride Weekend is sponsored this year by a number of state-wide businesses and organizations, including the Pride Foundation, The Nova Café, MSU Queer Straight Alliance, Montana Human Rights Network, Planned Parenthood, The Holiday Inn – Bozeman, Plonk Wine, ACLU Montana, Schenk Construction, and Out West. All funds raised by MPN from Pride Weekend go to funding future celebrations in the state and provide grants to people and organizations for LGBTIQ and Two-Spirit events across Montana. Previous Pride celebrations have been hosted in Helena, Missoula, Billings, and Kalispell (2009-2010), and currently scheduled to be in Bozeman again for 2012.
Pride Weekend will open early-ticket sales at the Emerson foyer Friday, June 17th at 3:00pm, and entertainment will kick-off that night. Evening entertainment for Friday and Saturday of Pride Weekend is for mature audiences 18+, however all Saturday morning and afternoon events are open to the public, community-minded and family-friendly.
Beginning at 7:30pm Friday Night, Broad Comedy with Katie Goodman & Soren Kisiel will perform a few musical numbers followed with a spectacular Drag Show by the glamorous Kings and Queens of Montana featuring local drag-queen, Electra Sexton. After the Drag Show, DJ Kohl and DJ Shark spin hits at the Friday Night dance in the Emerson Ballroom beginning at 10:00pm.
On Saturday, June 18, the Diversity March line-up begins promptly at 9:00am on East Main Street between Wallace and Rouse, and will begin at 10:00am. The public is encouraged to attend or walk in the parade.  Our Grand Marshall is noted Montana-born author, Patricia Nell Warren, who will be having an event at the Bozeman Public Library that afternoon at 2:00pm sponsored by Out West.
Graham Denholm - Getty Images News

The Diversity March ends on 3rd Street where the floats and vehicles will disperse and the crowd will gather on the Emerson Lawn for the Diversity Rally featuring local speakers and state officials at 11:30am. Diversity March entry forms can be found online at http://www.montanapride.org/index.php/Info/diversity-march.html.

Soon after, the Festival on the Emerson Lawn begins which includes food and product vendors, exhibitors, artists, and live entertainment. The festival is free and open to all allies, friends, families, and members of the LGBTIQ community.
Also inside of the Emerson Cultural Center, beginning at 12:00pm, will be free workshops, discussion and support groups, and informational sessions.  “Catholic Nun Shares Her Journey to LGBT Enlightenment,” by Sister Mary V, Legislative Updates, Sexuality across Cultures, Gay Bingo, and Faith and Spirituality are among a few of the diverse workshops available.
Doors open at 7:00pm for Saturday Night Entertainment on the stage of the Emerson Theater, emceed by local-comedian Joe Dosch. At 7:30 music begins with Somebody’s Truth, an acoustic cowboy duet by Scott Evje from Livingston and Jason Pruitt of Georgia. At 8:15 Singer-Songwriter Melissa Ferrick, Solo Vocalist will perform, and the stage will finish at 9:15pm with the comedian ANT®, a nationally-known, gay comedian that’s appeared many times on network television and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Saturday night is concluded at 10pm with another evening dance in the Emerson Ballroom by local-artist DJ Machaelangelo.
Sunday morning at 10:00am, Pride Weekend closes with an Inter-Faith Servcie and Farewell Breakfast at 11:00am. Location TBD. All Welcome.
Friday Evening Tickets are $10, and Saturday, $20, Full-Weekend Passes to 2011 Pride are $30, and can be purchased in advance online at www.MontanaPride.org.
The Pride website also has lists of local motels offering weekend-rates, sponsorship & volunteer opportunities, options to purchase vendor booths for the Saturday Festival and registration forms to participate in the Diversity March.

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