View the NewPride web site at this link (will open in a separate browser window).
In 2008, after several years of struggling Pride celebrations in Northeast Wisconsin, Rainbow Over Wisconsin agreed to provide a new generation of community leaders- the NEWPride Committee of the LGBT Green Bay Area Action Network- its fiscal agency umbrella plus $5000 in seed money and credit, to develop and run "NEWPRide", or Pride Alive.
According to the two co-chairs of the 2008 effort, the journey started about a year earlier when a bunch of people who were involved in the Fair Wisconsin (“No on the Amendment”) campaign got together. It was a meeting that asked “where are we at now?” and “what direction do we want to go in?” FairWisconsin had several of those meetings in communities around the state of Wisconsin.
According to one of the co-chairs: "In Green Bay we discussed that we wanted to keep fighting for our rights and to keep visible in the community. We wanted people to know that even though the marriage amendment passed that we’re sill here and part of the community. All along we wanted to make sure that its something that’s visible, something that’s positive for our community to show the larger community that we’re here, we’re part of your community, but that we have a community of our own."
The group's first effort, the 2008 festival, was to date the most extensive and elaborate pride event in the history of northeast Wisconsin’s gay community. Held in Joannes Park on Saturday July 12, the daylong festival was an incredibly successful event, with an estimated 2,000 to 2,500 attendees during the 9 or 10 hour celebration. Blessed with perfect weather, no protestors, and extensive and favorable coverage by all the local media, at the end of the day the organizers were already talking about beginning planning for the 2009 event.
The 2009 event, held on Saturday July 11, was another great success. Preceeded by a great line-up of complimentary events (including a screening of the movie "Milk" and a drag show in Appleton the night before, a run/walk on Saturday, and a brunch the Sunday after), the 2009 festival was again blessed by perfect sunny and warm weather. A few protestors only made the point that the group's effort for gays and lesbians to be visible to the community (the old mantra, "we're here and we're queer") was successful. The 2009 event also hosted the first-ever "History Display" for Northeast Wisconsin, showcasing the area's wealth of gay bars, groups, entertainers, and other events.
Credits: Website concept and design by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: July-2009.