Stevens Point Pride slated for Aug. 29
By Taylor J. Hale
PORTAGE COUNTY – A local group is carrying the momentum of last year’s pride festival. After the organizers that hosted the 2019 Stevens Point Pride Fest disbanded, Rosholt local Ryan Goszkowicz took it upon himself to carry on the newly formed tradition this year.
“When I found out that the group that set up Pride last year disbanded, I personally wasn’t going to allow that traction to slip,” Goszkowicz said in an exclusive interview with the Gazette. “It was important for me to make sure that the event continues. So I planned on marking the event happen on my own, but along the way, I found a wonderful group of amazing people to help make this dream a reality, and it’s been an amazing experience for all of us.”
CREATE Portage County sponsored this year’s Stevens Point Pride event, scheduled for Aug. 29.
Visitors will be able to learn about the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized groups through speakers and informational booths. Free HIV and STD tests will also be available on site.
“We will also have a local queer band, Falling Flat, a drag show, and various other acts all hosted by local drag queen Sissy Lala,” Goszkowicz said.
Goszkowicz feels that the festival is a way to bring the community of Stevens Point together as a whole.
“Queer people exist everywhere. With a community as small and as close as the Stevens Point area, it is difficult for queer [and] questioning people to feel supported or valid,” Goszkowicz explained. “That makes it difficult for people within the community to befriend each other and to stand up for each other. It is also important to bring LGBTQ+ [and] black history to this area so people can learn from the past and become more supportive in the future.”
How could COVID-19 impact the event?
Event organizers noted that the event could still be cancelled if the virus continues to surge throughout the state.
If the festival happens, visitors are required to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Those interested can stay up to date on the status of the event through the Stevens Point Pride website at http://stevenspointpride.com.