Hamilton Pride festival today at Marcum Park

Concerts include Madonna and Lady Gaga tributes.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The third annual Hamilton Pride festival is set for this weekend, and the organizers say the event’s grown in popularity every year.

The first Hamilton Pride festival in 2021, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, had about 1,000 people attend during the day, with about 2,000 for the concert, said organizer Taylor Stone-Welch. In year two, he said they were “settling into our vibe.”

“Last year was definitely a good turnout,” he said of the 4,000 to 5,000 estimated crowd throughout the six-hour event.

For year three, the event will start with a march where they’ll gather at 11 a.m. at Rotary Park, 208 High St., in downtown Hamilton. The march is less than a mile (crossing no major roads) and will end at Marcum Park.

The festival runs from noon to 6 p.m. with family-friendly activities, such as grandparents reading to children outside the Lane Library bookmobile (1 to 3 p.m.) and games for the kids by the park’s fountain. There will be educational activities for all ages where people can learn about gay history and the LGBTQ community, Stone-Welch said.

There are more than 100 vendors, which include the typical festival booths that feature things like crafts, food trucks, and beverages, but there are other vendors, like six churches that are open and affirming, and nonprofits and other groups.

There will be bands at a small stage at the park as well as family-friendly drag shows.

After the festival, the event continues with a concert that runs from 6-10 p.m., which features The Material Girl, a Madonna tribute, opening for Fame Monster, a Lady Gaga tribute. In between the performances, there will be family-friendly drag performances.

“We go out of our way to promote the event as family-friendly. We want it to be a place for everybody. Maybe you’ve never been to downtown (Cincinnati) and it’s a little intimidating, Hamilton’s would be a great one to visit. A lot of people have come to ours if it’s their first-ever pride event.”

Last week, the city of Hamilton proclaimed June 2023 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month, which Mayor Pat Moeller said he proudly supported.

“This was before us last year, and I’ll probably vote for it every year,” he said.

The mayor said the city should be a community that “supports and encourages diversity and inclusion for basically, all cultures, religions, ages, genders, sexual orientation, disability. I think the resolution (supporting diversity and inclusion) could promote more respect amongst people....”

“I think the key is respect,” he said. “If you respect each other, things will go smoothly with every event in this city.”


What: Hamilton Pride festival

When: Pride march begins at 11:45 a.m. Saturday at Rotary Park on High Street. The Pride festival runs from noon-6 p.m. and a Pride concert will go on from 6-10 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Marcum Park, 116 Dayton St., Hamilton

Cost: Free

More: hamiltonohiopride.com

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