Carmel High School Ethan Stoehr is excited for the second Carmel Pride Festival to be even bigger and better than the inaugural event.
Stoehr, who was one of the founders, is part of the group organizing Carmel Pride 2022, a free summer festival celebrating the LGBTQ+ community in Carmel.
The first Carmel Pride was held on June 27, 2021 in Carter Green. The second Carmel Pride is scheduled for 3-9 p.m. June 5 in Carter Green. Sunset Pride will begin at 7 p.m., when children’s activities end, but those under 18 are still welcome, Stoehr said.
Despite only four weeks of planning for the youth-hosted event in 2021, Stoehr said he exceeded expectations.
“We didn’t expect over 2,000 people to show up,” Stoehr said. “It really inspired us. It let others know the city was ready for something like this. I know other people told us that there was someone who wanted to start an LGBTQ oriented business in Carmel because what we did with the Pride event inspired them. We were blown away. We weren’t even sure we would get back the money we had deposited.
Stoehr said the organizing group had been planning the second event for six months. This year’s event will have a wider variety of food vendors and the entertainment will also be expanded.
“We have a bigger performance budget, so we use a big stage,” Stoehr said. “There’s a coordinated professional drag performance happening at the end, which should be entertaining.”
Stoehr said some high school singers and dancers will be part of the entertainment.
There will be merchandise for sale and a raffle.
“We’ve learned (not to) underestimate turnout,” Stoehr said. “People want to help and people want to get out. We really don’t fight alone like we thought before. The city supported us. Councilman Miles Nelson said, “It’s so cool what you’ve done. It’s good to have his support. »
To learn more, visit carmelpride.com.