The history of East Central Minnesota Pride:
- 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).
- Pride endured despite a protest “Pro-Family” picnic across town.
- National media outlets picked-up on this rare, rural pride event.
- The Pride ad which ran in area newspapers (shown below) sparked controversy because of the boa around the iconic Pine City voyageur.
- Entertainment included singer-songwriter Barb Ryman, NBC’s “Last Comic Standing”‘s Tommy Ryman (mother-son duo) and rapper Joey Dox, who never showed.
- In an effort to attract more women to the event, the Pride promotions featured two women.
- All God’s Children Metropolitan Community Church Choir performed.
- Pride theme was “We are Family.”
- All God’s Children Metropolitan Community Church Choir returned.
- Mark Dayton, now Gov. Dayton, attended Pride.
- Pride theme was “A Rainbow Odyssey: an epic drama of inclusion and celebration”.
- “Minnesota’s Small-Town Gay Pride”, East Central Minnesota Pride, was awarded the Community Pride Showcase at the Minnesota State Fair.
- Pride theme was “Out in the Country”.
- Pride theme was “A Rainbow Rendezvous”.
- Entertainment included Yasen Marie, Harley Wood, Nobody’s Weddin’ and City Pages’ Artist of the Year Chastity Brown.
- Same-sex marriage became legal in Minnesota.
- Former Minnesota Viking Esera Tuaolo took the Pride stage.
- Pride theme was “Equality Matters”.
- Pride in East Central Minnesota celebrates 10 years.
- Former Viking Esera Tuaolo performed and Edward Moody was emcee.
- Pride theme: “A Decade of Change.” (two promotional fliers created)
- 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.
- Pride theme: “Transforming Hearts and Minds!”
- For the first time, Pride displays a banner across Pine City’s Main Street.
- Pride moved to a new venue, Robinson Park, in the town square (the “heart”) of Pine City
- Pride theme: “Pride in the Heart”
- Pride performers: Mark Joseph and The American Soul and semifinalist Kat Perkins from NBC’s The Voice
- Pride theme: “Pride Persists”
- Pride website changes to a -.org, rather than a -.com.
- Pride performers: Mark Joseph and The American Soul and Kind Country
- Pride theme: “Spirit of Pride… Never, Never, Ever Give Up!”