The village under the rainbow

Yellow Springs Pride weekend

By Katie Fender

Photo: This year, the Yellow Springs Pride festivities put a focus on family-oriented activities

Everybody, it’s time to celebrate the Yellow Springs Pride Parade. That’s right, everybody.

Chasilee Crawford, an event organizer for the pride festivities, says this year, they are making this day a family affair.

“This is my second year being involved in Pride, and I have gone to three prior,” she says. “The thing that makes Yellow Springs unique is that we are probably one of the only Pride events around that focus on the family. We really focus on the kids and that’s what makes Yellow Springs unique and different.”

This year, the event will start with a potluck picnic, where everyone is encouraged to bring a dish to share. It will take place on the John Bryan Community Center lawn at 11:30 a.m.

After the picnic, there will be an open mic from noon to 1 p.m., where all are welcome to share stories and learn more at informational booths.

“Inside the Bryan Center, we will be having speakers and an open mic for people to come and share their stories or share a poem or a song or something that they want to share,” Crawford says.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Reverend Aaron Saari. “He’s a pretty well known in the Dayton area, and he is the campus minister for Sinclair Community College,” Crawford explains.

Rev. Saari is also the pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Yellow Springs. He preaches “radical love” and progressive Christianity with a focus on acceptance for all types of people.

He will speak at 4 p.m. and lead a service right before the parade begins at 5 p.m. in the Bryan Center.

The event welcomes all people and encourages adults and children to join. The procession will go from the Bryan Center through town and end at the Little Art Theater, where, at 7 p.m., local celebrity drag troupe, the Rubi Girls will present their self-titled documentary.

At 8 p.m., the Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus will perform before the festivities head to local Yellow Springs Bar and Grill Peach’s for a performance by Soul Fire at 9 p.m.

Of course, in the name of Yellow Springs Pride tradition, the Rubi Girls will take the stage from 10 p.m. to midnight to close the night. While the rest of the day is family and kid friendly, the late-night performances at Peach’s will be for patrons 18 and older.

But there will be additional family activities throughout the day from noon to 4 p.m. In addition to the face painting and bouncy houses, there will be cotton candy, several other types of food vendors outside, art vendors and, of course, music.

But what the day is really about is bringing the community of Yellow Springs and the greater Dayton area together to celebrate gay pride and to support equality for everyone.

“This is an important time in Ohio where we are focusing on marriage equality and equality for all, so it’s important to get the kids involved,” Crawford says. “The Pride Parade has always been family friendly, but it hasn’t always been kid-focused. We want our families to come out and enjoy this day, as well.”

Crawford continues to explain the importance of this event: “[It’s] a day where people can come together and let it be about love and inclusion, and we want people to share their stories about being included—or even not being included. We want to know how we can make our community in Dayton and Yellow Springs a better place for all people.”

So bring kids, friends and family to celebrate a truly important day for Yellow Springs and Dayton—to continue the tradition of Pride.

Yellow Springs Pride weekend takes place Saturday, June 27, beginning at the John Bryan Community Center, 100 Dayton St. in Yellow Springs from 11:30 a.m. and lasting until midnight. Look for YS Pride restaurant specials at Wheat Penny and The Winds Cafe Tuesday, June 23, Friday, June 26 and Sunday, June 28. The parade, which is welcome to all ages, will kick off at 5 p.m. at the John Bryan Community Center on Saturday. For more information, please visit

Reach DCP freelance writer Katie Fender at


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Reach DCP freelance writer Katie Fender at

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