May 27, 2011
By: Joe Siegel/TRT Reporter
Rhode Island’s 35th annual Pride celebration in Providence on Saturday, June 18 will feature disco superstar Thelma Houston and a huge bill of entertainers.
This year’s event will be held once again by the city’s waterfront on South Water Street. The location was very favorably received in 2010.
Houston climbed to the top of the pop charts in the 1970s with her high-powered rendition of “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” which gave her the distinction of being the first solo female artist at Motown to winthe Grammy Award for “Best R&B Female Vocal Performance.”
In 2009, Houston performed on the #1 rated television show in America, ”American Idol” where she “tore it up” for an estimated audience of over 25 million people.
This year’s PrideFest will feature a diverse line-up of entertainment, with both local favorites and nationally recognized performers. Included this year are: two-time nominee for the 2010 OUTMusic Awards Kid Akimbo, a popular fixture on Logo’s NewNowNext and the Click List, Ariel Aparicio, and the rockin’ ladies of Sister Funk. Also featured on the PrideFest stage will be members of the Tiptons Saxophone Quartet & Drums, The Mary Day Band, The Candace Brooks Band, B-Hive, Young Kaii, Baby Oil, Pamela Means, and the ever popular Sabrina Blaze!! PrideFest 2011 will also feature special performances from Miss Gay RI Victoria Starr, Mr. Gay RI Jesse Ciolfi, Ms Lesbian RI Lisa DeCesare, Pride King & Queen Ocean State 2011, the Imperial Court of Rhode Island, and diva Jackie Collins!
The hosts for this year’s PrideFest include: Jacqueline DiMera, Vi’Let, Haley Star, Genesis, and the one and only Self-Proclaimed First Lady of Providence Miss Kitty Litter.
As in past years, there will be old favorites such as the MarketPlace and Business Exposition, the Kid’s Pride Zone and the Beer, Wine and Spirits Garden. This year the PrideFest concert will end at 8:00 pm.
Capping off the festivities will be the Illuminated Nighttime Parade, which will wind its way through the streets of the city. Thousands of onlookers line up to cheer on the marchers and the multi-colored floats. Every downtown club will also be hosting block parties featuring special guests.
The weeks leading up to Pride will feature lots of special events. On June 2 there will be RI Pride Lube Wrestling at Touch Providence, the opening of Gallery Q on and Youth Pride Inc.’s annual Talent show, YP Idol on June 3, the Inaugural RI Pride Dodgeball Tournament on June 4.
Mirabar will host the Pride King and Queen Ocean State on June 5. This inclusive pageant is open to all members of the LGBTQ Community. Contestants must compete in pride theme costume and talent performance. There will be both a king and queen crowned at this event. Pre-register by email at Info@PrideRI.com. The winners will receive a performance spot on the main stage at RI PrideFest, a crown, a sash and bragging rights.
On June 10, there will be a swim and underwear fashion show, poolside at the Regency Plaza.
On June 15, 17, and 19, the Providence Gay Men’s Chorus will present their spring concert, _What a Difference a Gay Makes_, at Rhode Island College.
On June 16, Riviera Bingo Palace in Cranston will host RI Pride Disco Bingo, a benefit for RI Pride and sponsored by AIDS Care Ocean State.
For more information and a complete schedule of events, go to ripride.com.