History

The history of East Central Minnesota Pride:

2005

  • The first Pride was held commemorating the Men’s Circle‘s fifth anniversary.
  • It was said to be the first pride in Minnesota not held in a metropolitan area, one of just two in the U.S.  (Since then, other rural Minnesota communities such as Willmar, Brainerd, Marshall and Thief River Falls have held prides).

2006

  • Pride endured despite a protest “Pro-Family” picnic across town.
  • National media outlets picked-up on this rare, rural pride event.

2009

  • Pride theme was “We are Family.”

2010

  • Mark Dayton, now Gov. Dayton, attended Pride.
  • Pride theme was “A Rainbow Odyssey: an epic drama of inclusion and celebration”.

2011

  • “Minnesota’s Small-Town Gay Pride”, East Central Minnesota Pride, was awarded the Community Pride Showcase at the Minnesota State Fair.

2012

  • Pride theme was “A Rainbow Rendezvous”.

2013

  • Same-sex marriage became legal in Minnesota.
  • Former Minnesota Viking Esera Tuaolo took the Pride stage.
  • Pride theme was “Equality Matters”.

2014

  • Pride in East Central Minnesota celebrates 10 years.
  • Pride theme:  “A Decade of Change.”
  • Pride buttons circulated with the words “Bad Apple” since that’s what LGBT constituents were referred to as by Pine County Commissioner Mitch Pangerl and Pine City School Board member Robert Shuey at public meetings.  It was both of their final years serving public office.

2015

  • Pride theme:  “Transforming Hearts and Minds!”
  • For the first time, Pride displays a banner across Pine City’s Main Street.

2016

  • Pride moved to a new venue, Robinson Park, in the town square (the “heart”) of Pine City
  • Pride theme:  “Pride in the Heart”

2017

  • Pride performers:  Mark Joseph and The American Soul and semifinalist Kat Perkins from NBC’s The Voice
  • Pride theme:  “Pride Persists”