Release Date: July 23,2021

Akron Pride Festival 2021 Soon to Arrive in Downtown Akron

(July 20, 2021, Akron, Ohio) — The 2021 Akron Pride Festival presented by the JM Smucker Company, will be held Saturday, August 28th from 11am to 10pm in downtown Akron. The center of the festivities will be at Lock3 Park. First started in 2017, the Akron Pride Festival grew each year at the Wallhaven neighborhood’s Hardesty Park, attracting over 20,000 participants in 2019! After being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Festival is returning for 2021 and relocating to the heart of Downtown Akron! The Festival will once again kick off with the Akron Equity March, beginning at 10am at the south end of downtown near Spaghetti Warehouse (S. Main St.) and will finish at the center of the Festival at Lock 3. The full day of events is free and open to all.

“This year, I am pleased to welcome the Akron Pride Festival to downtown Akron and Lock 3 Park,” Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “This event invites neighbors from all walks of life to join together to enjoy entertainment, art, culture, and food and celebrate our diversity and shared values. Pride is an important time to reflect upon and embrace our ongoing efforts to build a more inclusive and welcoming community that serves and uplifts all our residents.”

“Being able to present the Pride Festival in downtown Akron means that we can expand the celebration to the neighborhood’s beautiful and unique spaces and bring the best of Pride to the heart of our city,” Julie Pryseski, festival Chair said.

The Akron Equity March is held each year as a way to stand in solidarity in the spirit of support and respect, where everyone within the LGBTQ+ community feels safe and valued. Akron and Summit County as a whole are committed to showing we are a community that continually supports and pursues equality and equity for all. To participate in the Akron EquityMarch, visit www.akronpridefestival.org to register as an individual or group.

Events at the festival include musical entertainment on three stages (Lock 3, 4 and Cascade Plaza) throughout the day. Our presenting sponsor, JM Smucker Company will spin tunes, and spread the love, from our Lock 4 Stage and area.

2021 headliner, Wrabel is best known for his hit song “11 Blocks,” and his EDM collaborations with artists including Louis the Child and Marshmello. Wrabel has “made a name for himself as a songwriter behind some of your favorite stars (Paper Mag),” having written songs for artists such as Kesha – co-writing ten tracks on her new album High Road (ex “Raising Hell,” “Resentment,” “Tonight”), P!NK (“90 Days”), Backstreet Boys (“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”), Celeste (“Strange”), Louis the Child (“Too Close,” “Better Not”) Kygo (“With You”), Marshmello (“Ritual”), Galantis (“True Feeling,” “Written in the Scars”), Bishop Briggs (“Water,” “Baby”), Afrojack (“Ten Feet Tall”), Ben Platt (“Bad Habit”), and LÉON (“Surround Me”). Wrabel was named Billboard Pride’s Artist of the Month ahead of the release of his new EP, One of Those Happy People, released on his own Big Gay Records and named one of Billboard Pride’s 20 Best LGBTQ Albums of 2019.

Sandra Valls is a comic, actor, singer, writer, and badass. She is a funny, high energy, smart, sexy, outspoken Latina, best known for her powerful, electric, stand-up comedy performances in Showtime’s, The Latin Divas of Comedy (nominated for an Alma Award) and Pride: LGBT Comedy Slam, hosted by Bruce Vilanch (both specials now available for viewing on Hulu.com).

Gia Gunn is an iconic figure that represents strength for the LGBTQ community through her performances and sharing her story. She has gained international acclaim and success as a television personality, social media influencer that inspires healthy living and the exciting life of an integrated performance artist. She's dedicated to the fight for human rights and on a mission to continue to break the boundaries of gender and continue to
inspire others through sharing her story!

Jiggly Caliente is a drag performer and recording artist best known for competing in the fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars season 6. She has appeared in a wide variety of roles in television (Pose, Saturday Night Live, Broad City) and film (The Queens) and released an album (T.H.O.T. Process). She is a part of the incredibly topical and inspiring weekly roundtable talk show, “Translation” and continues to bring audiences around the world to their feet.

Drag Battle entertainers from the June event at the Akron Civic Theatre, including Akron Pride Festival’s Drag Artist of the Year, AJ Quin, are joining the festivities along with past winners, Veronika Kattrell, Cherry Veneer, Poppy Lugo, Alejandra J-Love, and Jeremiah.

Other festival activities returning this year include food truck vendors, over 170 retail and non-profit vendors and an expanded children’s area, which includes a new partnership with the Akron Children’s Museum. In 2019 over 400 children participated in the family friendly activities!

Parking details and a festival map will be posted on www.akronpridefestival.org.
Visit www.downtownakron.com for all things downtown Akron related.

The safety of our attendees is of the highest importance. Visitors who are vaccinated are welcome to attend with no mask. While masks are not required, we recommend that unvaccinated attendees wear them. If you are sick, please stay home. We want you safe, and we will welcome you back in 2022.

The mission of the Akron Pride Festival is to unify and affirm the LGBTQ community and allies in celebrating our diversity and recognizing our likeness. We will promote acceptance of all individuals by defending human equity.

The Community AIDS Network Akron Pride Initiative (CANAPI) is the fiscal agent for the Akron Pride Festival. The mission of CANAPI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is to serve and promote the well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) community and persons at risk and/or affected by HIV through education, support services, quality housing, and advocacy. To learn more about CANAPI, see info@canapi.org.