Traverse City News and Events

The Post-Pandemic Rise Of Up North Pride And Polestar

By Beth Milligan | June 20, 2022

Up North Pride Week in Traverse City promised to be extraordinary in June 2021. Though the pandemic had forced cancellation of the annual event in June 2020, the celebration in 2019 had shown remarkable support from business sponsors and welcomed more than 6,000 attendees.

Adding something extra special to the 2021 party, a statewide triumph: For the first time ever, Michigan’s legislature had passed a resolution officially recognizing June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month. And then, about a month before June, faced with yet another COVID spike in the region, Up North Pride announced it had made a tough decision: For the safety of the entire Up North community, the nonprofit would shift its annual celebration and almost all of its traditional, beloved events—Drag Night, the Visibility March, and more—to October.

The shift from summer to fall was a gamble, sure. But it’s proven to be one of the best decisions Up North Pride could have made—so good, in fact, the nonprofit is doing it again this year. Read more about the post-pandemic rise of Up North Pride and Polestar LGBTQ+ Community Center and plans underway at both organizations in this week's Northern Express, sister publication of The Ticker. The Northern Express is available to read online, or pick up a free copy on newsstands at nearly 700 spots in 14 counties across northern Michigan.

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