John Baker

John Baker is president and co-founder of the Pride Community Center of the Tri-Cities. The organization is hosting its inaugural Rainbow Festival at the Pavilion at Founders Park in Johnson City on Saturday.

The first of what organizers hope will be an annual regional event marking Pride Month and highlighting LGBTQ+ issues will be held on Saturday in Johnson City.

WHO: The Pride Community Center of the Tri-Cities is hosting the First Annual Pride Rainbow Festival. The center is located in the King Centre, 300 E. Main St., in Johnson City.

WHAT: John Baker, the president and co-founder of the Pride Community Center, said the event will serve as a fundraiser for the center and its various outreach programs and projects for the LGBTQ community.

Baker said the COVID pandemic has restricted fundraising activities in the past two years.

WHERE: The festival will be held at the Pavilion at Founders Park in downtown Johnson City. Admission to the event is $1 and there is no charge for children under 12.

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A $3 wristband to purchase beer is also available.

WHEN: The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday. Entertainment will begin at 1 p.m. Aunt Mable and Didi Blue Hart will serve as MCs of the festival

HOW: Baker said 55 vendors, seven bands and The Gypsy Queens will be featured at the event. Drag performances will be conducted hourly and food will be available for purchase at the festival.

All performances will be conducted under the shelter of the Pavilion at Founders Park.

WHY: Baker said the last Saturday of June was selected as the date for the festival to mark the Stonewall protests in 1969, which is considered to be the start of the modern gay rights movement in this country.

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More information about the festival and the sponsoring organization can be found on its Facebook page at Pride Community Center of the Tri-Cities.

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