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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Local Businesses and Organizations Join in the Fun at Pine City Pride

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East Central Minnesota Pride will present its 16th annual Pride celebration will be held from 1 to 5 p.m., on September 18, at Robinson Park, in Pine City. This year’s event boasts a full lineup of fun and entertaining activities

After a long stretch of physical distancing and other restrictions, the LGBTQ+ communities in the counties of Pine, Isanti, Chisago, Kanabec and Mille Lacs will once again gather in person while adhering to current safety protocols.

Duluth-based blues/funk/jam band, Jacob Mahon & the New Salty Dog will play high energy, genre-eccentric set, and Minneapolis-based Rebel Queens will take the audience on a wild ride through vintage-inspired rock 'n’ roll. Martina Marraccino, a unicorn storyteller, known for her talent in theater, singing, and dancing, will emcee the event.

New this year is a wide range of food trucks, including Tacos Tacuba, Run Tell That BBQ, and Cabin Coffee. Sandy’s Grill & Italian Ice will be parked at Three Twenty Brewing Co.

At 7 p.m., LGBTQ+ film screenings will take place at Pine Center for the Arts; at 9 p.m. there will be a drag performance at Froggy’s Bar & Grill. Though Froggy’s has opened its doors to many types of entertainers over the years, this will be its first-ever drag show. “Froggy’s has always been a welcoming and loving place to gather with friends,” says bartender and cook, Aren Dilts. “A small town doesn’t mean a small mind, and I feel like hosting this event full of love and light is the best way to show that.”

East Central Minnesota Pride, billed as “Minnesota’s Small-Town LGBTQ+ Pride”, has been held since 2005, missing only 2020 due to the pandemic. “The safety and well-being of our community is the number one consideration,” explains Pride organizer Julie Redpath. “We looked at ways to make the event fun and enjoyable, yet safe.”

Both the Minnesota Department of Health and Pine County Health and Human Services are collaborating to provide COVID-19 vaccines at the event to those interested.

For more information, visit EastCentralMinnesotaPride.org.

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Read the full September 2021 Magazine