OTR: Kentuckiana Pride

June 17, 2018

This is an installment in the Gazette’s summer series “On The Road.”

“Anybody here from out of state? But not Indiana! Where? Minnesota? What the hell are you doing down here? Do you smoke weed? Do you drink moonshine? Do you take Oxycontin? Yeah? Then welcome to Kentucky, biatches!”

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And with that, the two glamorous MCs warmed up Saturday afternoon’s crowd for Louisville’s Cover Me Badd band on the Main Stage at this year’s Kentuckiana Pride Festival. The Parade, Concert, and Festival dominated Louisville’s weekend beginning with a parade on Friday followed by a concert at Big Four Lawn that night and then a festival and even more music on Saturday. It was huge.

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Sandra and Nicole were staffing a booth at the Festival. Sandra told the Gazette that Mayor Greg Fischer popped in Friday night wearing a Louisville Pride tee shirt and that so many people came that the booze ran out and they had to go and get some more. A controversy awhile back involving a Kentucky official who refused to issue same sex marriage licenses put the state in a spotlight, and they hope the festival shows that all are welcome here. Louisville enacted the state’s first Fairness Ordinance protecting against discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations in 2004.

“Say I Do In Louisville” is a contest for a destination wedding here and the winners this year were two women from Terre Haute who made a YouTube saying they’d like to get hitched here because Louisville is a welcoming city, so it appears that the message is getting out.

Salem Vytch-Tryeles channeled Prince on the Main Stage before plunging into the crowd where she was showered with adulation and dollar bills. You can catch Salem’s act at Cabaret La Cage in New Albany, Indiana.

“Opening the Closet: Share Your Fear and Leave It Here” was a participatory art installation in which people could grab a Sharpie and unburden their psyches of the thing they fear but might not want to say out loud. By mid-afternoon on Saturday hundreds of fears had already been shared and left there.

Finally, so to speak, the star of Saturday’s concert took the stage. Clad in a black leather mini and white stilettos, sporting big sunglasses and some impressive bling, Cece Peniston strode onstage like she owned it. Peniston had a big hit awhile back but you might have thought it was charting now by the crowd’s enthusiastic reception. Many of them knew all the lyrics and sang along. A couple of them climbed onstage and twerked with her. Cece’s brother backed her up as the DJ and as the sun set on the Festival, Peniston wrapped up her energetic  performance and left the crowd howling for more.

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