Bolingbrook Pride is returning to the Chicago suburbs on June 9th, from noon to 6 pm. What began as a first-time community event last summer is currently in the planning and fundraising stages for an even better experience this year!
Expecting 500 – 1,000 attendees this year, the 2019 Pride Picnic will be held in the space behind Bolingbrook Village Hall at 375 W. Briarcliff Rd in Bolingbrook. The site includes an inviting green space surrounding a scenic pond complete with fountain, and a stage with professional sound and lighting. There is a blacktop path weaving through the area where vendors will set up to be accessible to all attendees, including those with mobility devices and parents with strollers. There will also be ample on-site parking to accommodate the number of guests anticipated comfortably.
At least one food truck with vegan options (Sausage Fest) will sell food, with the organization hoping to recruit some additional restaurant vendors. A “Faith Village” area for affirming churches will be available, as well as a Hug Tent where volunteer clergy, police officers, and people offering to stand in for unsupportive families will offer free hugs. The goal is to help heal the wounds of rejection and conflict too often present in the lives of the LGBTQ community. There will be yard games, face painters, a photo booth, a bouncy house, food vendors, music, mental health workers, and a Trans Clothing Swap.
They also plan to partner with other charities that their members would like to help. Mama Zoey and Puppies – a Romeoville, home-based rescue organization that takes in pregnant mama dogs and takes care of them will return with a tent. This group is known for helping care for both the moms and the babies until they are ready to be adopted. They loved being part of the picnic last year and are excited to present their tent again. One way Mama Zoey’s raises money is to charge $2 for a puppy cuddle. Last year that and trading dog supplies for puppy cuddles proved very popular. It was a big hit, raising significant funds to support the puppy rescue mission.
Bolingbrook Pride has a strong focus on teens and families. They believe Suburban Pride acceptance must come from a demonstration of similarity and solidarity with our non-LGBTQ neighbors, and therefore they make their events open to the public. They seek out relationships with service and support organizations and businesses that support the LGBTQ community and help those already working towards inclusion and equality by promoting them within their community. Their website (in development) will list these local resources as well as have blogs about local LGBTQ issues and events.
They are seeking vendors, sponsors, and volunteers for the picnic, as well as new members for their organization to lead fundraising efforts, to help them with marketing, and to join the board. They are also seeking community partners with whom they can extend their reach in the community. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved with planning or volunteering.
There are many levels of sponsorship available from $100 to $10,000 for companies interested in the advertisement opportunity and who want to help them provide this safe, family-friendly celebration of acceptance to the suburban Chicago population. If you’d like to sponsor or know someone who would, download the sponsor form here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7zPNxHO2GiFdkh2SWNBT3g0eDVUV1kwQV9jTEh1Y2RXUlJJ
There are vendor opportunities for LGBTQ service organizations, friendly businesses, and those who have products specific to the community as well. Vendor applications are due by April 10th and can be downloaded here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7zPNxHO2GiFd3l0NXhmM19lSkFJa3lNSzhnOVFEeEZKRHU4
To register for your FREE tickets or donate personally, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2nd-annual-bolingbrook-pride-picnic-and-puppies-tickets-56912281165