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25 June 2008

Fort Wayne PRIDE Fest: warming up to be a mediocre celebration this year.

Just within the past month or so the GLBT Community has finally been receiving messages from our Fort Wayne PRIDE Festival Committee regarding this year's celebration. The group has a new host for its website and it looks really awesome in the picturesque "Room For Dreams" colour scheme and display. Unfortunately for myself the schedule as it is laid out so far is lame as hell. Instead of taking the opportunity to reinvent the wheel after an awesome fucking late show last year arranged (16-July-08*updated via Della: by Paige Turner and headlined*) by Miss Tykela, crowned Miss Fort Wayne PRIDE 2007, it seems like the schedule (as of 19April08, pdf) just languishes.

I mean no offense, and I do love their music, but who wants to hear two hours of
Good Night Gracie on Friday? For that matter, do we really need a drag show on Saturday to go on for two hours either? Both events close their perspective evenings of PRIDE Fest from 10p-12m. I do like the fact that they are bringing in newer talent like Rich Lysaght (Friday, 8:50p) and some committed classic performers @ our PRIDE return as well like LVNMUZIQ (Saturday, 12:45p). But seriously after ten years one would think that the same old format needs to change or at least mature to the next level.

I am pleased to announce that after three weeks since the competition, we "finally know who" Miss Fort Wayne PRIDE 2008 will be, Della Licious, the incomparable former morning Disc Jockey on WJFX HOT107.9, is going to be representing the Fort Wayne Gay Community in her finest fashion and presentation. I have to give credit to Della she is a friend and strong advocate for the GLBTIQAS Community. Mr. Pride will be decided on the 12th of July along with the other competition going on for PRIDE, which is an "IDOL" karaoke competition with the preliminary rounds happening on the 9th of July. All three preliminary events are being held @ After Dark Night Club, 1601 South Harrison Street (5 blocks south of Jefferson Boulevard, past Powers Hamburgers and under the viaduct).

Of course that leads back to one of my original bitch session for the last decade (10 years):

Q: Why does everything queer happen at the bars?
A: The bars are for Queers what the Church is for Blacks.

As a matter of fact a lot of Gay Churches started in the back of the Gay Bars on a Sunday night. The bars were the only historical place for us to be ourselves, be safe, be with each other, get caught up on the news of the day or current queer events, and rally for our equality and freedom. So therefore younger queer bois and gyrlz can not participate in the activities within the larger GLBTIQAS Community, because alcohol is being consumed/served. Then as that is the case, you are not considered a "full member of the Community" unless you are at the bar once in awhile. In addition, because our Community organizations and leaders are so lacking in responsibility and accountability, most of the local queer youth and young adult programs are so deficient it is ridiculous to consider them even functional at the moment. But anyway I digress and will return back to the original intent of this post.

Yesterday this message came through the FWPC MySpace: We are almost one month away from Pride '08 and we are seeking volunteers to help with front gate, wristbanding, security, the childrens' area and set up/ tear down. Anyone is able to take advantage of being a Pride '08 volunteer which includes a free t-shirt and free admission on the day you work! Being a volunteer is a great way to help out Pride and not have the commitment of being on the committee. For more info or to fill out a volunteer application (pdf) visit our website.

There is still no word on how much admission will be ...wait the secret press release just came through.... apparently the price has not changed from last year, thank goodness, it will be $3 dollars on Friday the 25th of July from 7p-12m and $5 Saturday from 12n-12m @ Head Waters Park East. To read more of Nikki Berger-Fultz's commentary on the history and future of Fort Wayne PRIDE Fest, and a response to some critics, please check out page 3 of the July issue of Reality Magazine which will hit news stands near you in a week or so.


One of the things that frustrates me more than any is that our PRIDE Fest has gotten stuck some where between a family reunion and a full fledged big city event.

One of the things I seriously miss, that was promised to be brought back by now, was an open volleyball (all the hot sweaty bois with their shirts off, yummy!) game, but it hasn't still happened. Volleyball is one of the "event's qualities" that kept our celebration and our Community more like family, rather than every organization and group's leader challenging for top dog position within the Community during PRIDE.

During PRIDE opposing sides actually came together during the festival and now we find ourselves on the opposite side of a huge tent and bitching about how incompetent the other organizations are, while having to shout over the music like a banshee because the echo/reverberation is too loud.

Let us not even get started on the interpersonal drama between individuals within the Community as a whole. Sure you can hate the other persons guts for fucking your best friend's boyfriend's ex-girlfriend's current boyfriend or ex; but back then you didn't let it affect you at PRIDE! In Fort Wayne, unfortunately if you have fucked one of them, you have in essence fucked all four, sexually or otherwise. Thank GOD, I am still a virgin!!!

PRIDE is not just about being proud.

It is about becoming a family with other people that have common interests or bonds (like a pride of lions). That is what I miss about PRIDE. What do you miss? What do you want to see change? What do you want to see come back? and What should they do away with? Please leave your answers to these questions and any comments below. Comments will be forwarded on.

The followup post for this review and further analysis of this post may be found here:
UPDATE: FW PRIDE! And just to prove how open I am to all of your comments...


Anonymous said...

"I mean no offense, and I do love their music, but who wants to hear two hours of Good Night Gracie on Friday?"

Maybe they shouldn't be asked to play again next year! There are plenty of other bands in Fort Wayne who can entertain the crowd.

Nikki Berger-Fultz; Director said...

Wow!!! I can't even begin to comment...I work my butt off every year, as does the rest of the committee and of course people always have to complain. You're right, the format we have is not that much different, but why would we reinvent the wheel. It's worked pretty well for us. In the last 10 years we have taken Pride from 50 attendees to over 3,000. I read a lot of complaining, but see no action from you.
We work very hard each year finding entertainers to donate their time or perform for a smaller fee than normal. Good Night Gracie is a crowd favorite and their normal playing time is 2 hours, so that is what they were booked for. Yes, the drag show is 2 hours, but guess what we had 1,500 people there during it last year so it must not be too bad.
There has been information out about Pride for a long time, much more than a month. If you haven't been paying attention then sorry.
How much money or time have you donated to Pride sir? That's what I thought. We have to charge at the gate to make up for the cost of the festival which averages between $15,000 & $17,000 a year.
We have thought about bringing volleyball back, but unfortunately we do not have a place to put it in the festival area. We could do it outside of the gated area, but then we would risk it being damaged by nonfestival goers.
We are a growing festival which has its pros and cons. One of the cons is losing that family feeling. After talking to people who attend other Prides such as vendors and out of towners, I hear about how much of a family feeling our festival has and how much they like it compared to other places.
If you would have read on in that email, you would have seen that we have an underage Pride Idol next Monday at the Pint & Slice. We would love to do more events outside the bar, but have trouble finding affordable places suited for our events. After Dark does not charge us for use of the bar, so naturally it works for what we are doing. We keep Pride open for all ages throughout the festival, and are the only festival in town to do that.
I just love when people bash organizations and then talk about the community getting pulled apart, bravo for that. I'm sorry, but I am so tired of working so hard to put on a festival just to have my, and my committee's efforts bashed. And you out of anyone are a surprising person to do it. Maybe if you would have contacted someone on the committee to get the "inside scoop" on why things are the way the are you would have realized that we are not mediocre, we are doing pretty darn well for a city of our size.

F6's Editor said...


Thank you for leaving your comments. Originally I wasnt going to respond for a week and let your comments stand on their own; However, you attacked not only my integrity and this forums editorial policy but also several other anonymous members of the community who gave me feedback before I wrote what I did.

1. This blog (as well as myself) has always had a sarcastic tone to it. If you cant handle or filter the sarcasm, my apologies for your misunderstanding of my humor and support of PRIDE.

2. While the post's intention is intended to inform the public, it is also intended to critique the particular event or venue for a very broad audience; it is also intended to support the Community event and opportunity without necessarily towing a company line but provide an independent analysis with as much information available, at the time.

3. To answer your question: I have donated plenty of time to PRIDE, just not in a direct or conventional manner.

4. As far as volleyball goes, do I really need to direct quote your answer from 2005; or would you like to capitulate that one, and bring volleyball back next year?

5. My answer to your weighing of the odds is that, "No we don't have to loose the family atmosphere and yes we can still grow into a "larger city festival" atmosphere.

6 . Regarding lack of or missing information... The press releases I received up until the first of July had no information on the PRIDE IDOL competition; however, when I did receive the information later I not only posted an update but then highlighted PI a second time just to be sure that more people were aware.

See these two follow up posts for proof: 05th of July,
As F6 approaches its 200th post in the next two weeks....We need to review and do some updates (10th paragraph); and from the 9th of July, Local Queer Community Calendar Update

More often then not different segments of the GLBT Community are overlooked by leadership and critiques remain unsaid by people in the area. They need a voice too, because they feel unrepresented within the network of Our Community. The words expressed are not always mine personally but they are a presentation of ideas and or concerns that others are not willing or able to express publicly, for fear that they will just be screamed at.

I am and have always supported FW PRIDE but I was also challenging it to become better because I know it can be, it will be, it must be. Nikki I am not judging you nor was this is not a personal attack on you or any of the other dedicated members of FWPC some of which I know personally and consider amongst my friends. It was however, a legitimate and balanced evaluation and presentation of ideas.

Anonymous said...


Have you been to Pride in Chicago, Toronto or Vegas? And they are ALL family friendly. Fort Wayne is small potatoes. I gave up on Pride here the day you personally told me several years ago right after you took over in After Dark that it is now a young persons game.
And it would be nice to return to playing fair in the contest judging.
As for getting cheaper entertainment you get what you pay for.

Katie Knight, FW Pride Committee said...

I have been on the Pride Committee for four years now. I donate my time and at times my own money to assist in putting on the events as well as the festival.

As with any group of individuals it is difficult to please everyone. We do our best to appeal to all of the people that attend Pride. We are always willing to listen to any suggestions that people may have, as a matter of fact we welcome them.

My issue is not the constructive criticism that is offered in order to improve pride. Many times such criticism is given with advice on how to improve the situation at hand. You, however, do neither. You have stated that you are sarcastic, great so am I. If you hold such strong opinions and seem to know how the gay community of Ft Wayne feels about Pride then offer a suggestions (other than your duly noted volleyball court). Better yet, why don;t you join the committee, attend the meetings and events, show up on the days surrounding the festival and put in some good old fashion hard work instead of sitting behind your computer blogging and taking pictures of yourself on a webcam. As for you volunteering your time and energy to pride "just not in a direct and conventional manner", we all have ways that we contribute but i have NEVER once heard anyone mention any of the ways that you donate your time to Pride. I have been through your site and I have seen the postings that you put up informing people of Pride events, but other than that I am unaware of anything else you have done to support the Pride Festival. You, sir, have no idea how much time and work it takes to put on the festival. Maybe you could be conventional for once and actually do something that all of us in the community could witness.

My biggest pet peeve in the world is people who bitch about something but never attempt to make a change. It is that very attitude that prevents so many great organizations from reaching their full potential. Since you are so concerned with the quality of the Pride Festival feel free to offer new ideas (other than the volleyball), assist in finding new and affordable venues for Pride related events that are appropriate for the youth to be present in, locate and contact new sponsors that would be willing to donate more money to the festival, locate and contact new quality entertainers and bands that would be willing to perform at pride, or find new and exciting vendors.

You are entitled to your opinions, but with the "sarcastic tone" of your blogs and lack of action of your part your opinions appear to be nothing more than another rant. It is situations like these that create tension in the community and prevent us from reaching our full potential.

Anonymous said...

Gosh Katie and Nikki
You even sound alike....
and you think alike

So what are you doing to promote FAMILY pride of A L L ages?
The beer in abundance in pitchers on the floor did not seem to be a FAMILY friendly thing........

Anonymous said...

Katie & Nikki,

Sure sounds as if you take any and all criticism personally instead of taking it as what it is...constructive advise and comments on how this event could be more enjoyable to MORE people.

Notice how no one even gave a hint that either of you were personally to blame for anything...so please get off your thrones and listen........

So much of gay/lesbian "stuff" here in Fort Wayne is overseen by a couple guys who own/operate bars here in Ft Wayne...and of course they want to have their bars involved since this is how they make money.

YET...one needs to be in these little "cliques" in order to have any say.

SO...just relax and do your best...

give medals 4 killing men but 4 loving men they wish you were dead?

give medals 4 killing men but 4 loving men they wish you were dead?
thanks to the sacrifice of many the scourge of Dont Ask Dont Tell in the land of the free and home of the brave will be gone by the end of June!!!!