Kenosha Pride March steps off at noon July 18

Larry Zamba, Contributing writer

Following last month’s Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, participants in the third annual Kenosha Pride March have something big to celebrate on July 18.

Based on attendance at past events, at least 200 people will take to the sidewalks and march through downtown Kenosha. They have a message to deliver, according to 20-year-old volunteer coordinator Diamond Hartwell. “Marchers are saying to the community, ‘We want to pull the Kenosha community together, to show we care. We support you — the LGBT community. We want you to be yourself, we want people to feel better and feel a part of the community,” Hartwell said. 

Chairperson Dan Seaver said the march’s intent is to show that Kenosha, which is often overshadowed by Milwaukee and Chicago, has a distinct LGBT community.

“I’ll never forget the first year, we were approached by an elderly woman who supported the march, who commented, ‘I never thought I’d see something like this in Kenosha,’” Seaver said.

The event begins with sign-making at Library Park on Seventh Avenue and Sixth Street at 11 a.m. The march begins at noon. When the March ends at about 1:30 p.m., entertainment begins in the area known as HarborPark parcel A, across the street from Trolley Dogs.

This year’s event offers entertainment, including a drag show featuring Angel Deverreoux, Billy Post, Anthony Zolicoffer, Mr. and Miss Icon, Libra Valintino, Ceasars Brooklyn, Tempest Heat, Zafina, Phillips Sale and a few backup performers.

Jacob Bach will provide comedy entertainment. The acoustic groove band Color Me Once also is scheduled to perform, along with a DJ.

For the kids, there will be a bouncehouse and face-painting.

Sponsors are Trolley Dogs, which provided the insurance, and The Brat Stop, which provided money for a generator and for renting the city of Kenosha’s rolling stage known as The Showmobile.

Club Icon helped by hosting a benefit show and Wisconsin Gazette provided print and online support.

Each year, the local bar Pete’s Place has provided lemonade to marchers along the way.

Eventually, Seaver would like to see sponsors underwrite a larger Pride celebration.

The march committee included Dayvin Hallmon, who handled city permits. Sean Young served as secretary, Cheri Thomas managed fundraising, Lisa Butler coordinated entertainment and Chris Smith was treasurer.

For more information, visit Kenosha Pride’s Facebook page.