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South Bend prepares for first ever week-long Pride event

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- 

Festivities in South Bend are getting ready to kick off for Pride Week 2018, a week of events to celebrate those who identify as LGBTQ+.

This is the first time ever that the city will host a full week of events.

"It's just different venues for different people to see the different amounts of LGBTQ people and allies that we have,” said Jason Wilkinson, director of the LGBTQ Center. “For them it's really a time to kind of just celebrate who they are without having to worry about necessarily where they're going or where can they go to be themselves, there's just all these events that they can take part in."

Those events include:

Sunday, June 10: Families Picnic at Potawatomi Park 

Tuesday, June 12: Networking Night at The Aloft’s WXYZ Bar 

Wednesday, June 13: Outwords LGBTQ + Stories at The LGBTQ Center 

Thursday, June 14: South Bend Cubs Pride Night

Friday, June 15: All Ages Drag Show and Dance Party

The week will wrap up with a block party in downtown South Bend on Saturday including drag performances, a proud pets costume contest, pride rally and more.  More than 30 vendors and food trucks will also be at the block party.

A full list of the events and times can be found here.

The organizers are excited to provide a wide variety of options for Pride Week. Wilkinson says plans for next year’s Pride Week are already in the works.

"This will be expanded upon every year this after,” he said. “Whether we hold more pre-Pride events, which is something we're planning for next year where it'll be fun to actually lead up to Pride. So maybe some drag bingo that we're thinking about doing next year that would just raise money to help us put on a bigger and better Pride.”

There are plenty of volunteer opportunities during Pride Week as well. Those interested in volunteering can contact the LGBTQ Center at 574-234-1411. 

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