Area History for 2010's
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Oct 2 - General Election Candidate Night About 30 people attended the General Election "Meet the Candidates" night organized by NW PA Pride Alliance. Candidates attended included Patrick Harkins (PA State House District 1 D-Incumbent), Juanita Shutsa (PA State House District 6 - D) and Chris Mitchell, representing Curt Smith (PA State House District 4 - D.) See related article. See photos.
Aug 23 - Erie Pride Fest NW PA Pride Alliance held a well-attended Erie Pride Fest. The day began with the Pride parade from the zone down to Perry square. About 150 people participated in the parade. Parade units included Erie Gay News, NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc., ACLU NW PA, Amisha Tribal Belly Dance, Marriage Equality for PA, Erie Sisters & Transgender Alliance of Western NY, Glass Growers Gallery, PFLAG Erie and Crawford Counties, PFLAG Butler, M & J's Lounge, Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Erie, Unitarian Universalist Church of Meadville, LBT Women of Erie, Jamestown Pride Society, and Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition. See related article. See photos.
Aug 22 - REUNITED Show at Dramashop Lovin Heart & DJ Tony G-Spot produced a joint fundraiser for Dramashop and NW PA Pride Alliance at Dramashop. REUNITED was the first time in a while Lovin & DJ Tony G-Spot hosted a show together or that the performers had shared a stage. The show featured performances by Erie and Buffalo favorites Sasha Alexander, Jill Jamison, Britney Shea-Lace, Keeghan Getit, Cece Deshawn, Spike Flor, Diva D'Vyne-Island, Buffy Lynn Hayes, Fly Guy Shawn, Derion D'Vyne-Island, Mr. Manny, and Miss Erie 2014 Veronica Lace. Over $200 was raised for the two organizations. The evening also featured Lovin Heart, Veronica Lace, and Stephen Wells accepting the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and issuing challenges of their own. See related article. See photos.
Aug 2 - LGBT table at Blues and Jazz Fest NW PA Pride Alliance was proud to once again staff an LGBT info table at the Annual Blues and Jazz Fest in Frontier Park. The Blues and Jazz Fest is organized by Erie Art Museum and other organizations and is attended by over 20,000 people. The table also had info from Erie Sisters and Mental Health Association of NW PA, as well as cards from Equality PA in support of HB 300/SB 300 for Equality PAs campaign to pass anti-discrimination legislation at the state level. Thanks go out to Brian Davies, Johauna, Melanie Shubitowski, Julie Flagella, Alex Sphon, Daniel Thomas, Will Koehler and Rex Apps. See related article. See photos.
Jul 4 - NW PA Pride Alliance float in Millcreek 4th of July Parade About 17 people rode on NW PA Pride Alliance's float in Millcreek's 4th of July parade. There were about 110 units in the parade and about 20,000 people saw the parade. See related article. See photos.
Jun 14 - 22nd Annual Erie Pride Picnic NW PA Pride Alliance organized the 22nd Annual Erie Pride Picnic at the Rotary Pavilion at Presque Isle State Park. Members of the LGBT community and their friends, family and supporters enjoyed a fun day with a great potluck. See related article. See photos.
May 20 - Decision Day Rally in Erie With less than 24 hours' notice, almost 200 people turned out in Perry Square on Tuesday, May 20 to celebrate Judge John E Jones III striking down Pennsylvania's so-called Defense of Marriage Act. Marriage equality is now the rule of the land in Pennsylvania, and Governor Corbett has said that Pennsylvania will NOT appeal the federal ruling. Speakers included Mike Mahler of Erie Gay News and NW PA Pride Alliance; Atty. Richard Ruth, legal director for ACLU NW PA; Kathy and Christina Czarnecki-Smith, who married in New York state; Rich McCarty, senior pastor at Community United Church and president of Greater Erie Alliance for Equality and who also read a supportive statement from State Sen. Sean Wiley; Rev. Steve Aschmann of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie; David Moore, founder and president of Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania; Doris Cipolla, who had lost her partner Char to cancer 9 years and 1 month before and who was glad that other PA couples will not have to have similar experiences; Susan Woodland, President of NW PA NOW, and Joshua Szczesny, secretary and co-founder of Marriage Equality for PA. Also in attendance were Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, proud mother of a gay son and also Erie County Councilmember Jay Breneman. Erie Sisters Transgender Support Group also turned out in support. Kathy Dahlkemper announced that a same sex couple had already applied for a marriage license that day. The couple was Michael Tkach, board member of Greater Erie Alliance for Equality and Bill Lechner, who have been together for 29 years. Also in the crowd were attorneys Jason Owen and Alison Scarpitti. Alison is legal counsel for Greater Erie Alliance for Equality and also served as attorney for Wendy and TJ Titus, who drove to Montgomery County to obtain a marriage license when that county was allowing same sex couples to get licenses earlier this year. See related article. See photos.
Apr 16 - Primary Candidate Forum W PA Pride Alliance and other co-sponsoring groups presented a Candidate Forum at First Niagara Bank Community Room, 27 people attended, including candidates Thomas Tarantella (US Congress PA-3 - D), Michael T Muha (PA State Senate 50 - D), Flo Fabrizio (P State House 2 D-Incumbent), Curt Smith (PA State House 4 - D), Juanita Shutsa (PA State House 6 - D) and Wayne Hanson (PA State House 17 - D,) Additionally, Rob McCord (PA Governor - D) sent Jordan and Graham and Ryan Bizzarro (PA State House 3 - D-Incumbent) sent Linda McCabe. There was also coverage by both local TV news crews. See related article. See photos.
Nov 9 - 2013 Drag Queen Bingo NW PA Pride Alliance held Drag Queen Bingo at Erie Clown Hall, 512 Kelso Drive in Erie. Many thanks to the Erie Clowns for being so friendly and welcoming, particularly Doodles and Mr. Donut, who prepared yummies. Thanks also to our drag perfomers who gave 110 percent: Michelle Michaels, Velvet Lace, Lovin Heart, and Misty Kall. Thanks to our volunteers, Amy Terrizzi, Erin Moll Terrizzi, Chris Dye, Preston Blood and Christine H! See related article. See photos.
Oct 3 - General Election Candidate Night NW PA Pride Alliance and other co-sponsors held a Meet the Candidates Night at the Avalon Hotel and Conference Center, 16 W 10th St, Erie PA. The event was organized as an informal mixer, and about 50 people total attended. Campaigns and candidates attending included Kathy Dahlkemper (D) for County Executive, Andre Horton (D) and Ned Smith (R) for County Council District 1, Eddie Whiteman (R) for Erie County Sheriff, Joe Sinnott (D-Inc) for Erie City Mayor, David Brennan (D-Inc), John Evans (R-Inc) and Kaz Kwitowski (D) for Erie City Council, and Angela Euell-McNair (D) for Erie City School Director. Co-sponsoring groups included NW PA Pride Alliance, Drenched Fur, Erie Gay News, Erie Sisters, LBT Women of Erie, LGBT Erie, Marriage Equality for PA, Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition, Persad Center, PFLAG Erie, TransFamily of Erie Support Group and Trigon. WICU TV 12/WJET TV 24 covered the story for the evening news. NW PA Pride Alliance wants to thanks the wonderful volunteers who made this possible and the people who turned out to support this event. See related article. See photos.
Aug 24 - 2013 Pride Parade and Rally About 300 people attended the Pride Parade and Rally put on by NW PA Pride Alliance. Delta Foundation sent up a bus from Pittsburgh with about 40 people, who marched as a parade unit. Parade units included Erie Gay News, NW PA Pride Alliance, Erie Sisters, Community United Church, Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition, Amisha Tribal Belly Dance, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE), Delta Foundation, Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania, PFLAG Erie and Crawford Counties, Persad Center and LBT Women. There were about 170 people in the parade. See related article. See photos.
Jul 4 - 2013 Millcreek 4th of July Parade About 15 people rode on the float that NW PA Pride Alliance had in the Millcreek 4th of July Parade, which drew around 20,000 people. Although there has been an LGBT contingent for a total now of 8 years, this is the first year that we were all on a float. Many thanks to Ben Heggy from Seven Springs for bringing up his truck and driving it, as well as for help in decorating. Many thanks to Season Crannell for float design and to Season, Chris, Alex, Preston, Melanie, Julie and others for setup and tear down. We had a wonderful time, and the crowd was incredibly supportive and friendly! See related article. See photos.
Jun 26 - Supreme Court Victory Celebration in Perry Square The US Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in a 5-4 decision, which prohibited same-sex couples legally married in their own state from reciving federal benefits. Also, Prop 8 in California was dismissed for lack of standing, effectively setting the stage for marriage equality to return to California. The Supreme Court did not rule on the substance of whether same-sex couples could be singled out by state law. These two landmark victories were celebrated by about 30-35 people, who assembled in Perry Square in Erie that evening. Both local news crews and also a photographer from the Erie Times News stopped by to cover the event. See related article. See photos.
Jun 15 - 21st Annual Erie Pride Picnic About 215 people got together for food, folks and fun at the 21st Annual Erie Pride Picnic Rotary Pavilion at Presque Isle State Park. New this year was ox roast to go with the traditional hot dogs. See related article. See photos.
May 25 - LGBT Float in Perry 200 Parade NW PA Pride Alliance participated in the historic Perry 200 Grand Patriotic Parade with an LGBT float. The parade marked the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie, which was part of the War of 1812. There were about 10-12 people on the float, and the spectators were friendly and supportive! There were tens of thousands of spectators and 10,000 people participated in the parade. See related article. See photos.
Apr 18 - 2013 Primary Election Candidate Forum NW PA Pride Alliance held a candidate forum at the Avalon Hotel & Conference Center, 16 W 10th St, Erie PA for candidates for Erie County Executive, Erie County Council (Districts 2, 4 and 6), Erie City Mayor and Erie City Council. Candidates from both major party were invited. WICU TV 12 covered the event as part of their broadcast that night. About 70 people attended overall. See related article. See photos.
Mar 26 - Marriage Equality for PA Light the Way to Justice Vigil Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania held a vigil in front of the Federal Courthouse at 6th and State, Erie PA in response to the US Supreme Court hearing arguments about the California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). See related article. See photos.
Oct 14 - 2012 General Election Candidate Forum About 40 people attended the candidate forum co-sponsored by Erie Gay News and NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc at the Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA. Joshua Atkinson moderated the presentation. Candidates present included Pat Harkins, PA State Rep - 3 (D); Sean Wiley, candidate for PA State Senate 49 (D); Missa Eaton, candidate for US Congress PA-3 (D); Jason Owen, candidate for PA State Rep District 3 (R) & Kathy Fatica, representing Ryan Bizzarro, candidate for PA State Rep District 3 (D); and Jason White, candidate for PA State Rep District 5 (D). Both local news crews covered the event. See related article. See photos.
Oct 6 - LGBT Unit in Edinboro Homecoming Parade There was an LGBT unit in the Edinboro Homecoming Parade. The unit was organized by NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc. and included members from Erie Sisters. The reaction from the spectators was positive and affirming. See related article. See photos.
Aug 25 - 2012 Pride Parade and Rally Over 250 people attended the Pride Parade and Rally. The day’s events were organized by NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc. There were three floats and about 14 units in the parade, which stepped off from the Zone Dance Club, went down State Street to Perry Square. The rally in Perry Square had 23 info tables and vendors. Speakers and performers included Rhiannon Angelina, current reigning Miss Erie; Laurie Finch of LBT Women of Erie, who was also celebrating her 11th anniversary with her wife Janice Hanusik that day, Michelle Michaels, local drag icon; singer Collis Allen; Melanie Shubitowski, President of Erie Sisters; Misty Kall, 2011 Miss Erie; Ebony Davis, board member of Greater Erie Alliance for Equality; Lake Erie Belly Dance; Michael Mahler, for NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc. and Erie Gay News; singer/guitarist Bob Bearfield; Rich McCarty, board member of Equality PA; and singer/guitarist Jay Bones. Once again, the Dunk a Drag booth was a crowd favorite. NW PA Pride Alliance thanks all of the donors and volunteers who made the event such a success! A special thanks to Ben from Seven Springs, PA for providing and driving the lead float in the Parade! See related article. See photos.
Jul 4 - LGBT contingent in Millcreek 4th of July Parade For the 7th year in a row, there was an LGBT contingent in the Millcreek 4th of July parade. The parade typically draws around 20,000 spectators and is one of the largest in the region. NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc was the principal organizer. Other groups participating included Erie Gay News, Erie Sisters, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality and PFLAG -Erie/Crawford County. There were also a number of individuals who marched with us who weren't particularly affiliated with a group, including openly gay Jamestown NY City Council President Greg Rabb, Buffalo Gay Men's Chorus co-founder Michael Bardo, Mike & Merideth Paff, a young straight couple who brought their 2 sons in a stroller, and LGBT friends from Oil City. About 25 people marched in the LGBT contingent, and the response was quite positive. Special thanks to Michael Coleman for taking photos. See related article. See photos.
Jun 18 - 20th Annual Erie Pride Picnic NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc. presented the 20th Annual Erie Pride Picnic at the Rotary Pavilion at Presque Isle, The event drew over 400 attendees, which sets an all-time record. WICU/WSEE news covered the event. The weather was wonderful and it was a great time for visiting with friends old and new. Thanks to everyone who made the day such a success! See related article. See photos.
May 19 - 2012 Drag Queen Bingo NW PA Pride Alliance held a very successful Drag Queen Bingo at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie to raise money for Pride events. About 72 people attended, and everyone had a great time! Over $1,000 was raised. Our drag performers included Michelle Michaels, Rhiannon Angelina, Misty Kall and Velvet Lace. Thanks go out to our volunteers: Jeff, JR Snyder, Ryan McKane, Eric Linster, Ivy for kitchen duty; Erin Moll, Amy Terrizzi, Mark Hoovler, Preston Blood, Eric Rogers, Shakira Nakelle, DJ Lunchbox, Season Crannell, Chris Dye, Ernie Staaf and Kristen for running the event. See related article. See photos.
Aug 27 - 2011 Pride Parade and Rally About 230 people participated in the Erie Pride Parade & Rally. This year’s Pride events were organized by the Pride Planning committee, which is an informal coalition of groups and individuals. The informal coalition later beame NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc. in March, 2012. See related article. See photos.
Jun 11 - 19th Annual Erie Pride Picnic The 19th Annual Erie Gay News Family Pride Picnic, held at the Rotary Pavilion was a great success! This year, Pride events are being coordinated by the Pride Planning committee, which is a coalition of groups and individuals. See related article. See photos.
Jun 12 - 18th Annual Pride Picnic The 18th Annual Erie Gay News Family Pride Picnic, held at the Rotary Pavilion was a great success! About 330 people, equal to last year's all time record, enjoyed a day of friends, food and fun. We also collected 127 pounds of food and $30 for the Second Harvest Food Bank of NW PA. See related article. See photos.