Update, June 16, 2014: Indy Pride, Inc., reports that 95,000 attendees enjoyed the Circle City IN Pride Festival on Saturday, and Capt. Bob Smith of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, charged with public safety at the festival, estimates that 92,000 people attended. Pride organizers have it that 40,000 watched the fest’s accompanying parade. “It’s part of the early number as the crowd builds all day,” says Capt. Smith.
True colors and a lot of Pride: That’s the story out of downtown Indianapolis this weekend.
Indianapolis Metro Police Department’s earlier estimate had it that 85,000 comers descended on the American Legion Mall and Indiana War Memorial Plaza for the Circle City IN Pride Festival itself, with roughly 35,000 goers at the Cadillac Barbie Pride Parade that jump-started the day’s celebration at 10 a.m. Both are considered records for the downtown events. The festival’s 2013 edition saw 85,000 attendees. The parade, named for one of the city’s iconic drag-queen performers (one of Indy’s Bag Ladies), commenced at the corner of College and Mass avenues, rolling from there to Michigan and Meridian streets before ending just west of Central Library downtown.
Marching and walking groups, vehicles, and floats in the parade numbered more than 150, a participation record, with the likes of Naptown Roller Girls mixing with Cummins Inc. employees, and government office-holders and political candidates including Zach Adamson and J.D. Ford (soon to run against Sen. Mike Delph for an Indiana Senate seat in the 29th district).
Festival entry was free, though cash donations at the gates and throughout the grounds during the festival totaled $16,970. Official bar-sale totals had yet to be released, though a preliminary count had alcohol-ticket sales at $98,000 and cash bar donations at $1,717, per Eric Houghtalen, director of logistics for the festival. Incredibly, in light of the sheer human numbers around the festival and parade, no arrests or violence were reported, per IMPD. One festival-goer was carted away by Indianapolis EMT staff with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.485.
The festival included performances by local acts including the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus, Pride of Indy Band and Color Guard, main-stage host DJ Knayte, and more, as well as nationally and internationally revered performers such as DJ Dave Aude, electro-pop singer Luciana, pioneering crooner Steve Grand, and others.
For more information about Circle City IN Pride Festival, see its website.
Photos by Michael Schrader, Jonathan Scott, and Tony Valainis; some photos courtesy Eric Houghtalen and Jake Miller