Great Lakes Bay Pride Celebrates Pride Month

Great Lakes Bay Pride is excited to kick off Pride Month 2023 in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Throughout the month of June, Great Lakes Bay Pride and regional partners will host programs and events aimed at educating the community about LGBTQ+ issues and celebrating diversity, equity, and inclusion in Bay, Saginaw, Midland, and Isabella counties.
Scott Ellis is the executive director of Great Lakes Bay Pride.
"It's been my privilege to coordinate Pride Month events for Great Lakes Bay Pride for the past seven years. Year over year, we've seen consistent growth in the number of participants and attendees coming out to celebrate our regional LGBTQ2S+ community. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Great Lakes Bay Pride re-imagined Pride Month and created opportunities for the community to show their support through a wildly successful yard sign campaign and virtual programming,” shares Scott Ellis, Executive Director. “When the Great Lakes Bay Pride Festival returned in June 2022, we saw our largest attendance to date. I'm excited to see this event continue to grow in 2023. I'm also thrilled to be offering our first major event in Isabella County with Pop Up Pride in the Park. It is vital that we offer programs and events in our most rural communities as folks there can often feel a heightened sense of isolation,” he continues.

The Great Lakes Bay Pride team invites all in the Great Lakes Bay Region and beyond to join in celebrating Pride Month this year. Activities and events in June will include: 

Yard Sign Campaign: Great Lakes Bay Pride is distributing 2023-yard signs throughout the region. Sign pick-up days have already occurred in Midland, Bay City, and Saginaw. One day remains in Mount Pleasant, Saturday, June 10, 5:30-9pm at the Pop Up Pride event. A $15 donation is suggested, and a limited number of signs will be available. 
Pride Night at the Loons: Great Lakes Bay Pride and Dow GLAD have teamed up with the Great Lakes Loons to host the 6th Pride Night game on Friday, June 9.  The game starts at 7:05 p.m. at Dow Diamond and will feature local resources along the concourse and a Pride theme throughout the park. Tickets are available through the Loons website.

Pop Up Pride in the Park: Great Lakes Bay Pride is hosting the 2nd Pop Up Pride in the Park event on Saturday, June 10th, at Broadway Park, 2451 Nish Na Be Among Drive in Mount Pleasant. Pop Up Pride in the Park will feature a Two-Spirit presentation, local LGBTQ+ resources, food trucks, a kickball game, and more. Admission is free for this family-friendly event. This is an alcohol and drug-free event out of respect for the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Community.

Great Lakes Bay Pride Festival and After Party: The regional Great Lakes Bay Pride Festival returns to Wenonah Park in Downtown Bay City on Saturday, June 24th. The festival officially opens at 11:00 a.m. and runs until 6:00 p.m.
Andrea Foster is a Great Lakes Bay Pride board member.
Great Lakes Bay Pride board member, Andrea Foster, is encouraging all to join. “Great Lakes Bay Pride has grown as an event from a small celebration to a crowd that draws thousands from all over the state. Growing up as a queer person, I never had anything or anyone to tell me it was okay to be queer. We absolutely did not have a celebration like Pride. The Great Lakes Bay Pride Festival gives us a sense of community, an opportunity to be our most authentic selves, and a safe space to be together and rejoice, both allies and LGBTQ2S+ individuals alike. Our region is becoming more known for being inclusive, and in a time where it seems like we are constantly fighting to keep our rights intact, that feeling of belonging has never been more important. Pride is for everyone, and I truly hope everyone comes to support and celebrate with us.”

Presented by Dow, the Great Lakes Bay Pride Festival celebrates our regional LGBTQ2S+ community and champions diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for all. The family-friendly event includes a children’s activity area, live entertainment from regional performers, and over 50 retail and resource vendors. “Visibility matters. Pride Month programming is key to making sure our regional community is seen, heard, appreciated, and celebrated for living courageously as their authentic selves. Visibility matters to LGBTQ2S+ folks of all ages who are too often subject to negative and misleading coverage about the validity of their sexual orientation and gender identity,” Ellis adds.

To learn more about Great Lakes Bay Pride, visit them on Facebook.

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Read more articles by Carly Lillard.

Carly Lillard moved to the Great Lakes Bay Region in 2007 from Traverse City. Since that time, she’s graduated from Northwood University and held positions at Dow, Northwood University, Midland Area Community Foundation, Shelterhouse and Youth For Understanding. Currently, Carly is working as the Director of Philanthropy and Strategic Relationships at Holy Cross Services while completing her Master’s Degree from Michigan State University in Strategic Communication. When she’s not writing, you will find her spending time with her husband, Jesse, and two children, Maycie and Elias. Carly can be reached at