The sun was shining brightly and hearts were filled with love and pride, acceptance and openness at the second annual Open Door Pride Festival on Saturday, June 23. The festival was a culmination of the first-ever Open Door Pride Week, as proclaimed by Sturgeon Bay Mayor Thad Birmingham. Open Door Pride would like to thank all of the volunteers, vendors, artists, businesses who supported this celebration. We especially want to thank Mayor Birmingham, Sturgeon Bay City Council members for issuing the Proclamation declaring June 18-24 Open Door Pride Week and Alderwomen Kelly Catarozoli and Laurel Hauser who read the Proclamation on stage at the festival, along with County Supervisor Megan Lundahl.
Last year, approximately 150 people attended the Open Door Pride Festival. This year, more than 500 turned out in Martin Park to enjoy music, food and companionship. We were heartened by the number of young people who took part in the event, both as performers and attendees. These young people are the reason Open Door Pride exists, so that they may grow up in a community that is safe and supportive and that takes pride in its diversity.
A generation or two ago, those of us who identified as LGBTQ felt the need to leave our own small hometowns because they were not safe or welcoming communities. We want the young people of Sturgeon Bay and all of Door County to know that they are respected and supported and that they do not need to leave in order to live their lives as LGBTQ individuals.
Open Door Pride’s mission is to affirm our community’s diversity through inclusion for all. Many people donated money, time, and talent to make our celebration a success. We are committed to providing opportunities for LGBTQ people to connect throughout the year through a wide variety of events and programs to appeal to the thousands of LGBTQ people who live in and visit Door County.
The Proclamation issued by Sturgeon Bay supports our mission and we are sincerely grateful. We are proud to be a part of this community!
Cathy Grier, founding member, Open Door Pride
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.