East Central Minnesota Pride event June 2

For the ninth-straight year, Pine City’s Voyageur Park will be the setting to East Central Minnesota Pride, a LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) pride event to be held Sunday, June 2, from noon to 5 p.m. There will be music, food and a rendezvous of friends and community.

Former NFL player Esera Tuaolo will debut his single “Stronger” on the East Central Minnesota Pride stage June 2.
Former NFL player Esera Tuaolo will debut his single “Stronger” on the East Central Minnesota Pride stage June 2.

The band lineup this year returns Yasen Marie and Harley Wood, who has ventured into a solo career after leaving Far From Falling; as well Nobody’s Weddin’.

Headlining is Chastity Brown, a 30-year old Minneapolis-based, internationally-recognized musician who has released three full-length albums and, despite being named “Best Folk Singer” of 2012 in City Pages’ “Best of the Twin Cities,” she straddles multiple genres.

Former Minnesota Viking Esera Tuaolo will also be present to debut release his new smash single “Stronger” on the East Central Minnesota Pride stage. Tuaolo played in the National Football League for nine years and since shocked the world in 2003 with his announcement on HBO REAL SPORTS with Bryant Gumble that he is part of the LGBT community.

Invited to come are several public officials, including Gov. Mark Dayton who attended in 2010, and other candidates vying for political office. With the recent legalization of marriage for all Minnesotans, same-sex couples planning to get married will be recognized at the event.

Besides picnicking, there is plenty else to do: Frisbee golf, pet alpacas, browse vendor booths, bid on a silent auction, have your photo taken and meet your neighbors. A dock on the Snake River makes a productive waterway to cast your line for muskie, walleye, bass, pike, catfish, perch, crappie and sunfish.

“When I depart from a GLBT Pride event, I come away with a boat load of stickers, buttons, books and everything rainbow,” said Julie Redpath, of Chisago City. “I also hold on tight to the gift of extended community that I need to feed my spirit.”

A dinner and program, including vegetarian options, will be held in conjunction with pride weekend Saturday, June 1, in the evening at the Grant House in Rush City. For more information about the dinner, call 612-669-5945.