Pride Ashtabula County on June 5
On June 5, 2021, Bill Daywalt and Rev. John Werner organized the inaugural Pride Ashtabula County, with the support of the LGBTQ Community Club. The event was held at the Hamper family farm in Jefferson OH. Attendance was estimated to be several thousand, and First Congregation United Church of Christ in Jefferson provided a shuttle bus to handle the crowd. The family-friendly event included speakers, local and regional businesses and organizations, a drag show, and a talent show. Drag performers Mona Lotz and Vivian Vendetta Sinclaire hosted the event. Another organizer, A.J. Petro, read a proclamation from the Ashtabula County Board of Commissioners.
"Ashtabula County has a diverse community which includes those who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered; queer (LGBTQ+) and others who gather today to celebrate how far they have come and the important roles they play in our community," the proclamation read. "The Board of Ashtabula County Commissioners recognizes the rights and protections of all members of our community and believes they should be able to live peacefully and be treated with dignity and respect."
Petro told the attendees, "Welcome to history in the making."
Kids enjoyed a playground, face painting, and a petting zoo. Adults - and teens of age - could register to vote, get COVID-19 vaccinations from the county health department and take HIV tests offered by a local hospital.
Pride Ashtabula County 2021 and the LGBTQ Community Club both have pages on Facebook.
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