Pride parade and drag show set for Friday


FAIRBORN — Inclusive Fairborn will be hosting a pride parade and drag show in downtown Fairborn on Friday, June 23.

Inclusive Fairborn, a non-profit organization centered around inclusivity and equity, will be kicking off the event at 4 p.m. with a parade beginning and ending at the Main Street Commons, 103 W. Main Street. The parade lasts until 8 p.m.

Over the course of the four-hour parade, local vendors will be set up and businesses will be open to support the cause. There will be a scavenger hunt, food trucks, and local outreach organizations set up for visitors to stop by and receive free resources related to community health and inclusivity.

At 9 p.m., following the parade, the Fairborn Phoenix Foundation will be hosting a drag show at the Fairborn Phoenix Theatre, located at 34 S. Broad Street. The drag show is set to run until midnight, and drinks will be available.

Those wishing to attend the drag show must be 18 years or older, and pay the $10 price for a ticket either online or at the door. Inclusive Fairborn also asks that the audience wear a mask while indoors. The show will feature five drag performers, hosted by Cherry Poppins, local drag queen performer.

The founder and director of Inclusive Fairborn, A, got their start in 2019 with protests and community events. They have worked with council members and local businesses for outreach and community events in and around Fairborn, including hosting Fairborn’s first pride event in 2021.

“Now not only do we help plan events, we also work with community partners to get resources to people,” A said. “We’ve had a lot of great community support.”

Inclusive Fairborn has partnered in the past with community organizations like the Fairborn FISH Pantry, Greene County Public Health and several small business owners in the area. It is now partnering with more than 20 local vendors and the Fairborn Phoenix Foundation for what A hopes to be one of the biggest Inclusive Fairborn events so far.

A graduated from Wright State University with a bachelors in African-American studies, and is currently pursuing their masters at the university in the same field.

“I really want to create something in Fairborn that can be a beacon of support for the community, that really deep community support,” they said. “As of now, we are a non-profit organization, and we really focus on alleviating poverty and being more sustainable.”

This non-profit status, which A said they obtained earlier this year, has allowed Inclusive Fairborn to apply for grants more efficiently than the organization had previously been able to; now, A and their organization provide resources and community support in a way far more streamlined than what they could do before.

This year will be the first pride parade organized by a designated Pride Committee, and is free for all to attend without registration or commitment.

“I really want to say like 150 to 200 [attendees] again would be really amazing,” said A. “But I would be happy if even five people showed up.”

All vendors will be set up at the start point of the parade, which will go up and loop around Main Street in downtown Fairborn. There will be a mix of local LGBTQ+ organizations set up to answer questions and provide information, as well as local businesses that just want to support the cause and offer to sell their goods and services.

Moving forward, A said they want to continue growing Inclusive Fairborn and their mission to encourage equity across the community, and alleviate poverty for those in need.

“It’s been nice to have a lot more widespread community support this year,” they said. “We just wanted to bring everyone together in that way.”

Contact Ethan Charles at 937-502-4532.

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