Day Trip: Small-Town "Pride"

Spencer Pride Fest, Owen County’s June celebration of inclusiveness, has received national attention.
Indy’s Pride events draw crowds this month, but another celebration of inclusiveness in an unlikely location is getting some buzz: Spencer Pride Fest on June 3 in rural Owen County.
The Huffington Post recently shouted out the Southern Indiana burg (pop. 2,317) for the rejuvenated town square’s friendly, admission-free festival, which includes live music, a marketplace of 100 booths, free HIV testing by IU Health, and a Family Fun Area with a bounce houses and aerial silk lessons.
Also on the program: a Pride Pet Parade (12:30 p.m.) and The Ladies of Spencer Drag Show (4 p.m.), reportedly the only drag show in Indiana performed on a courthouse lawn.

“There is a perceived novelty in what we do, given our rural community nestled in the Heartland,” says Jonathan Balash, president and director of Spencer Pride. “People hear about small towns being small-minded, but that’s a big misconception. There is ignorance everywhere. There is knowledge everywhere. We work to make our town even more welcoming by supporting and educating people. We say that we are cultivating a community of compassion.”