This year, among the rainbow flags, dancing, live music, bars and food trucks, the annual Motor City Pride Event will honor the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. 

Held at Hart Plaza Saturday and Sunday, the family-friendly outdoor celebration of LGBT pride and equality is one of many around the country that reserves the month of June to honor the people who fought back against police raids at a gay club in New York City in 1969. 

Taking place at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, the Stonewall riots or rebellion are considered to be a crux event leading up to the gay liberation movement of the 20th century. 

"It's the catalyst for the modern pride movement that really got things moving so we're recognizing the people who rebelled those couple of nights in June of 1969," said Dave Wait, chairperson of the board and planning committee for Motor City Pride.

Stonewall is the theme of Sunday's noon parade, and Wait says there will also be a moment of remembrance at 3 p.m. Saturday for "people who participated in that uprising and for also people who have lost their lives or who have been victims of LGBT violence."

While as somber as that may sound, this is a Pride festival. Due respect will be paid, but expect the general mood of the event to be colorful, joyful and high-spirited. If there's ever an opportunity to get out your technicolor platform boots or silvery unicorn cape, this is it. 

Sunday's parade is a big part of Motor City Pride, as are the four live entertainment stages. Headliners are pop artist Greyson Chance and R&B singer Alise King on Saturday and pop singer/songwriter Tunde Olaniran on Sunday. 

Mostly, Motor City Pride, which organizers say attracts around 40,000 people, is a place where folks can feel themselves. 

"We work to provide a safe space so people can be their authentic selves," said Wait. "It's a fun, upbeat area but it's also reminding us that we have work that we need to do to have full equality for all Michigan citizens. At the festival we have over 130 exhibitors so people can connect with companies and organizations that have similar interests to them."

Those who aren't necessarily within the LBGT community are also very welcome. 

"You can come to the festival, enjoy the music, connect with others," said Wait. "Hart Plaza has great views of the river. People can just relax and hang out over the weekend." 

Motor City Pride

1-9 p.m. Sat. and noon-7 p.m. Sun.

Hart Plaza

1 W. Jefferson, Detroit 

$5 admission for 13 and older 

Animals, bikes, skateboards, weapons, laser pointers and coolers are prohibited

Main Stage Acts


1 p.m.: Out Loud Music Chorus

2 p.m.: Jharid

3 p.m.: Remembrance for LGBTQ Victims

3:30 p.m.: Sabin's Drag Revue with RuPaul's Ongina

5 p.m.: Joey Suarez

6 p.m.: Greyson Chance

7:30 p.m.: Alise King

8:30 p.m.: DJ Nader


1 p.m.: SingOut Detroit

2 p.m.: Acoustic Ash

3 p.m.: Boy Radio

4 p.m.: The Killer Flamingos

5 p.m.: Tunde Olaniran

6:30 p.m.: DJ Kevin Bailey

Parade starts at noon Sunday at Fort and Griswold

Twitter: @melodybaetens

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