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KBagley

RI PrideFest and Parade

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I would appreciate any comments, positive or negative, that anyone has about this past Saturday's 30th Anniversary PrideFest and Night Parade.

It was our largest festival ever, with 115 vendors (about 30 more than last year), 50 parade groups (about 20 more than last year) and over 15,000 people in attendance (about 5,000 more than usual).

I appreciate your replies, they will be much needed as we begin to plan our next events this fall and look ahead to next June.

Remember, RI Pride is 365 days a year, we have year-round programming and always need volunteers to help!

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I would appreciate any comments, positive or negative, that anyone has about this past Saturday's 30th Anniversary PrideFest and Night Parade.

It was our largest festival ever, with 115 vendors (about 30 more than last year), 50 parade groups (about 20 more than last year) and over 15,000 people in attendance (about 5,000 more than usual).

I appreciate your replies, they will be much needed as we begin to plan our next events this fall and look ahead to next June.

Remember, RI Pride is 365 days a year, we have year-round programming and always need volunteers to help!

Hello,

Being from out of state, I planned a weekend in Providence with 3 guests. During the day I did observe the RI Pride event while travelling through Downcity. At night, we had a great dinner on Federal Hill and were to then attend Waterfire.

I was shocked to find no trolleys running to bring us to Waterfire, and when we drove to get close I was further disturbed to have the roads blocked by the "parade".

I found it very poorly timed so as to disrupt Waterfire - two distinct events. We became so tied up in traffic stopped by the "parade" we quit and left embarrassed and angry.

Bottom line: End the parade before 7PM so as not to disrupt Waterfire.

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...or perhaps Waterfire should reschedule as to not disturb the parade. It works both ways.

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I was shocked to find no trolleys running to bring us to Waterfire, and when we drove to get close I was further disturbed to have the roads blocked by the "parade".

I found it very poorly timed so as to disrupt Waterfire - two distinct events. We became so tied up in traffic stopped by the "parade" we quit and left embarrassed and angry.

Walking from Fed Hill to Waterfire isn't really that bad, though I do agree there should be some kind of transportation.

I think the Waterfire was sponsored by Pride, wasn't it? Perhaps just some better logistics. I'm not quite sure I understand what role the city really plays anymore, but they aren't too good at getting people through the city and to the right places when there are events.

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Bottom line: End the parade before 7PM so as not to disrupt Waterfire.

...or perhaps Waterfire should reschedule as to not disturb the parade. It works both ways.

Indeed, the Pride "parade" (sic) was scheduled before WaterFire was.

Walking from Fed Hill to Waterfire isn't really that bad, though I do agree there should be some kind of transportation.

There is a trolley running, one would have to talk to RIPTA to find out why they only run every 30 minutes (when it takes 10 minutes to walk Downcity from Federal Hill).

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I think the Waterfire was sponsored by Pride, wasn't it? Perhaps just some better logistics.

No they did not, Pride could not afford to sponsor a WaterFire, it was sponsored by Bank of America. The city should have been more on the ball about scheduling and ensured that the 2 events didn't collide. It was also FirstWorks Kids at RISD adding to the crowds, and WaterFire was full out with the Jazz Stage on Steeple Street and the Ballroom on Westminster closing those two streets.

The city gets applications for street closings and is supposed to ensure that there are not too many streets closed at once as to create major traffic problems. I have first hand knowledge though that the Department of Traffic and Engineering is a little, shall we say, antiquated (one phone line, no voice mail...).

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I would appreciate any comments, positive or negative, that anyone has about this past Saturday's 30th Anniversary PrideFest and Night Parade.

I think this is actually my 14th Pride (well 14th year, I've been to multiple one in past years), so I'm a bit jadded I think at the whole experience. That said, it was quite impressive, the entertainment lineup was great. It was nice to see more entrants in the parade. I was happy to see Textron march and hope that's a sign of things to come with more corporations having contingents.

I wasn't put off by WaterFire coinciding, though I don't try to drive Downcity on WaterFire nights. I actually was over at PPAC before WaterFire started.

Miss Kitty did a great job MCing, as always, next year please have her jello-shots ready before the parade begins. :lol:

I liked the expanded beer garden, because that's where I hang out. :alc: The DJ in the beer garden was a nice idea, but it didn't really work, it was too loud and I could hear the stage and the DJ, which was a little annoying. Having speakers in the beer garden to play what's going on on stage would be nice.

Oh, and I'm still annoyed that my name was spelled wrong in the Pride Guide. :angry::P

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I found it very poorly timed so as to disrupt Waterfire - two distinct events. We became so tied up in traffic stopped by the "parade" we quit and left embarrassed and angry.

Bottom line: End the parade before 7PM so as not to disrupt Waterfire.

Baines, I had been very concerned about the disruption of Waterfire and the traffic snarls that would be caused. I am sorry it affected you and hope that next year we have more cooperation from the police department and a better plan from them for dealing with this.

I think the Waterfire was sponsored by Pride, wasn't it? Perhaps just some better logistics. I'm not quite sure I understand what role the city really plays anymore, but they aren't too good at getting people through the city and to the right places when there are events.

Cotuit is correct below, we couldn't possibly afford to sponsor a Waterfire.... especially this year when donations are incredibly hard to come by. As far as Logistics, I had a plan for allowing cross traffic through the parade, but the police department chose to bunch it up and just get it over with... and then we got slowed down because an officer at some intersection decided to stop the last half of the parade and allowed cars to turn onto the parade route.. so we were divided for quite some time and slowed down by these cars stopping at traffic lights we were supposed to have been able to go right through...

No they did not, Pride could not afford to sponsor a WaterFire, it was sponsored by Bank of America. The city should have been more on the ball about scheduling and ensured that the 2 events didn't collide. It was also FirstWorks Kids at RISD adding to the crowds, and WaterFire was full out with the Jazz Stage on Steeple Street and the Ballroom on Westminster closing those two streets.

The city gets applications for street closings and is supposed to ensure that there are not too many streets closed at once as to create major traffic problems. I have first hand knowledge though that the Department of Traffic and Engineering is a little, shall we say, antiquated (one phone line, no voice mail...).

I am extremely unhappy with Traffic Engineering. They never delivered the crowd control barricades that were supposed to keep the crowds back, so i lost my voice yelling at people to back up at the major turns so the tractor trailer floats could make it through.... finally had them start blowing their air horns and it got people moving a bit....

I think this is actually my 14th Pride (well 14th year, I've been to multiple one in past years), so I'm a bit jadded I think at the whole experience. That said, it was quite impressive, the entertainment lineup was great. It was nice to see more entrants in the parade. I was happy to see Textron march and hope that's a sign of things to come with more corporations having contingents.

Miss Kitty did a great job MCing, as always, next year please have her jello-shots ready before the parade begins. :lol:

I liked the expanded beer garden, because that's where I hang out. :alc: The DJ in the beer garden was a nice idea, but it didn't really work, it was too loud and I could hear the stage and the DJ, which was a little annoying. Having speakers in the beer garden to play what's going on on stage would be nice.

Oh, and I'm still annoyed that my name was spelled wrong in the Pride Guide. :angry::P

Amgen was supposed to march, but they didnt show up... not sure why, apparently the same thing happened last year.

I really have no clue what Kitty ever says.. can't understand her for the life of me, damn hearing loss.... What would the differnce be if I had her liquored up first?

I agree with you on the Beer Garden DJ... I couldnt understand what our Entertainment Coordinator was thinking having two sound systems cranked up less than 200 feet apart from each other... Though in his defense, the beer garden was supposed to be a good 200 feet further back than it was, until Amtrak and Homeland Security kicked us off the train tunnel roof.

I think I need help with this quoting stuff....

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Okay a few things, PRIDE seems (to me) like a far reaching event. Pulling people in from a good portion of the region. I would think that a water fire on the same night would really benifit both sponsoring programs, water fire - pride - with that said I hope the city learns from this event. Purely on a numbers pont of view, i would think the city would try accomidate the large numbers if only to produce revenue. Getting people back and forth in a timly manner could keep the crowds happy and spending money. I would think that a more flexible plan could be drawn up with ripta to insure this. Could be good PR for them aswell...

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I enjoyed the parade immensely. And while I know from your point of view the traffic barricades would have been nice, from a parade goer's view they were nice NOT to have. Made me the parade feel more street and more interactive with the spectators.

Only thing I would say is more publicity. Now I am not gay and am not really in touch with that community, but I and a lot of others love a good parade. I never saw one flyer for it, billboard, television or radio spot. Someone told me that day and I kinda stumbled upon the parade.

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I am extremely unhappy with Traffic Engineering. They never delivered the crowd control barricades that were supposed to keep the crowds back

Yes, I often have to close the streets myself, in fact I usually plan that I will have to close the streets myself and arrange to have my own barriers. Supposedly there is someone new in City Hall who is supposed to be some sort of liason between city departments and planners for these type of events, but I've never been in contact with this person. It would be nice if a street closure app would trigger a call from him, but it doesn't.

I've had instances of the Police randomly opening streets that I'd closed as well, quite annoying. I've met directly with Sgt. Martinous at PPD to iron out some of my police detail issues, PM me if you want his contact info, he's the Commanding Officer in the Detail Office.

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I would think that a water fire on the same night would really benifit both sponsoring programs, water fire - pride - with that said I hope the city learns from this event.

Personally, I totally missed WaterFire, I made my way down to PPAC to watch the parade before sunset, then went to a block party after the parade. I imagine WaterFire is a nice thing to retire to after the parade for those people who are not so into the bar/club scene (that would be me actually come to think of it).

I actually think from a logistics standpoint though, it's really touch to have Pride and WaterFire on the same night, Pride this year attracted 15,000 people, what does the average WaterFire attract, at least 5,000, probably more I'd assume. That's a lot of people to deal with. A partial WaterFire down the RISD end might have been better.

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I enjoyed the parade immensely. And while I know from your point of view the traffic barricades would have been nice, from a parade goer's view they were nice NOT to have. Made me the parade feel more street and more interactive with the spectators.

Only thing I would say is more publicity. Now I am not gay and am not really in touch with that community, but I and a lot of others love a good parade. I never saw one flyer for it, billboard, television or radio spot. Someone told me that day and I kinda stumbled upon the parade.

You are correct, most of our advertising is in GLBT papers, at the nightclubs and through our participation in the Boston Pride Parade the week before. We usually get one article in Projo a couple days before and the flag raising is usually covered by Channel 10, but not this year. We did have Channel 10 running a 30 second advertisement a couple nights a week, basically as much air time as they would donate.

I am very happy that you enjoyed the parade, it IS for everyone, not just GLBT.

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I think I need help with this quoting stuff...

The software only allows three quotes per post. It cuts back on the point-counter-point quote fights that sometimes break out. If you want to do more than 3 quotes, make seperate posts.

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The software only allows three quotes per post. It cuts back on the point-counter-point quote fights that sometimes break out. If you want to do more than 3 quotes, make seperate posts.

ah, should have paid more attention to the fine print...

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I really have no clue what Kitty ever says.. can't understand her for the life of me, damn hearing loss.... What would the differnce be if I had her liquored up first?

The difference would be she wouldn't spend half the night asking where her jello shot was. :lol:

I think she did a great job, but if the parade stays as big as it was, it's becoming quite a task to have a solo MC. Might be nice to have co-MCs, a lesbian for balance perhaps.

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The difference would be she wouldn't spend half the night asking where her jello shot was. :lol:

I think she did a great job, but if the parade stays as big as it was, it's becoming quite a task to have a solo MC. Might be nice to have co-MCs, a lesbian for balance perhaps.

Good advice.. thank you :thumbsup:

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Indeed, the Pride "parade" (sic) was scheduled before WaterFire was.

There is a trolley running, one would have to talk to RIPTA to find out why they only run every 30 minutes (when it takes 10 minutes to walk Downcity from Federal Hill).

Seems the responsibility for effective coordination really fell to the city - two big events with 20K people is a great thing if all the logistics make sense and work.

I agree that a walk from Federal Hill to Waterplace is not bad but the rain discouraged that. We waited over 30 miniutes-perhaps the congestion delayed the trolleys (never saw any!)

Any way, the city was vibrant and exciting in any event. You will have an even greater city in 2-3 years when so many things will converge (Westin2, OneTen, Waterplace 1-2-?, Grants Block, MetroLoft, Powerblock, DunkinDonuts Ctr, 1 LaSalle Sq, Sierra, Rt 195, expended southern exposure, etc, and perhaps the expanded riverwalk along Promenade).

Good information...thanks to all.

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I enjoyed the festival a lot, particularly my "save a tree, wipe your a$$ with an owl" t-shirt I got for $5 at a tent.

I have a question, if they allow the bars to get special permits to stay open til 4am certain weekends, why the hell can't we just get like a month long permit or something and let bars stay open late at least in the summer?

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I enjoyed the festival a lot, particularly my "save a tree, wipe your a$$ with an owl" t-shirt I got for $5 at a tent.

I have a question, if they allow the bars to get special permits to stay open til 4am certain weekends, why the hell can't we just get like a month long permit or something and let bars stay open late at least in the summer?

Pride helped the bars get those 4am block party permits for last weekend, I'm not sure how, but I know we were very much involved in the process. We also usually help Chris Harris get his 4am permits for Diesel on Holiday weekends when he has a special event and Pride is a beneficiary of a percentage of the cover. I guess we just have the relationship with City Hall that is helpful for getting these through... and gay bars don't have quite the reputation for rowdy customers as other bars/clubs, so its not a huge risk to let them stay open later some nights.

As for month long permits, I don't think that legally exists... If we want the bars to stasy open till 4am to stop the 1 or 2am tidal wave of drunks, then its going to have to be a city ordinance change, even if just for a trial period.

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