Twin Ports Continues Celebrating LGBTQ Community with Bayfront Pride Festival

Updated: August 31, 2019 11:28 PM

Pride celebrations have been kicking off in the Twin Ports since Thursday. On Saturday Bayfront offered a fun Pride Festival for community members.


Bayfront was covered in rainbow flags to celebrate 33 years of diversity and freedom for the LGBTQ community in the Twin Ports.

“It’s celebrating everybody and knowing everyone is welcomed. You don’t have to be scared and you don't have to be in the closet or anything and you can welcome everybody,” said Lily Porwoll, a first time attendee of the festival.

“It’s important we have pride fest. It's the one day of the year we can come together as one and not worry about labels,” said Mama Dukes, a drag queen performer.

Local artists were putting on upbeat performances as folks enjoyed music and checked out the many vendors and organizations offered at the family-friendly event. The event offered games and food as well.

“It’s already a bigger turnout. Our events have been getting more attendance and we are excited about the number of people. It’s a beautiful day! it’s sunny and warm,” said Diana Fischer, a co-chair of the Duluth Superior Pride.

“Pride is where we were born. We can trace our roots as far back as Stonewall and became activists early on for LGBTQ rights and responsibilities,” said Guard Patriarch Le Fleur, a member of Ladies of the Lakes.

Organizations like Northland Allies and Ladies of the Lakes focus on providing a safe and friendly environment for the LGBTQ community. 

“I’ve been impressed with the amount of welcoming and supportive environment we found here in the Northland. It was easy to connect with people that felt the same way,” said Jan Ashmore, a founder of Northland Allies.

“I lived in Bemidji and Grand Marais so seeing pride events like this taking place in towns like Duluth is very affirming to know the LGBTQ people live here too and need to have affirmation and celebration for who they are,” said Sister Tammy, a member of Ladies of the Lakes.

For many, pride means honoring those who paved a path for the LGBTQ community and celebrating the right to love and be who you are.

“Drag is a big community we have in Superior to get together and perform and for me it means confidence,” said Mama Dukes.

“It’s a way for my children and family to know they can come together and know they won’t be criticized and that they’re going to be welcomed,” said Rose Porwoll, a first time attendee.

A block party is taking place on Tower Avenue in Superior at 9 p.m. Saturday for those who want to continue celebrating pride. The festivities end with the Pride Parade Sunday.

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