Tess Hemmila–Staff Writer
OC Pride hosted its second annual event from Oct. 19-21 in Orange City. OC Pride is a LGBTQ+ pride event organized by Orange City residents and supported by local businesses. The weekend event was open to all and boasted various activities and attractions each day.
On Friday night, a crowd of excited locals filled the Prairie Winds Event Center to listen to The Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus and to watch drag performances by the Shakers Family. On Saturday, OC Pride hosted a variety of events including yoga, an information and resource fair, a story-telling event, and a dance. On Sunday, OC Pride’s final event was a showtunes brunch at Town Square Coffee House.
According to a press release by OC Pride, the purpose of the weekend is to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and to “create a beautiful, vibrant community where everyone can be accepted and be their truest self.”
The first OC Pride in 2017 was organized by Orange City residents Steve Mahr, Mike Goll, David Klennert, and Cody Bauer. After last year’s success with OC Pride, Allie Macedo and Abby Bliss were added as organizers to help prepare for an even bigger weekend of celebration for the second OC Pride.
According to Macedo, the purpose of OC Pride is to show the local LGBTQ+ community that there are people that they can to turn to and that there are safe places in the area.
“Orange City is a town full of big hearts,” she said. “OC Pride is a good chance for us to show off this town and what we can be as a community.”
OC Pride 2018 was largely considered a success, with crowds of up to 250 people at a time turning out to participate in the festivities. According to Macedo, the large attendance also brought an influx of volunteers for this year’s pride, with around 30 people from the local community volunteering to help run OC Pride’s many events.
Despite the success of the OC Pride, some members of the community, primarily members of the Sioux County Conservatives, spoke out against the event. On Friday, a local man, Paul Dorr, started a live video where he is seen burning Orange City Public Library books with LGBTQ+ themes in a trash can outside of the Prairie Winds Event Center. Earlier this year, Orange City Public Library faced controversy after residents started a petition to relabel all the books that contained LGBTQ+ themes, likely inspiring Dorr to burn the books.
OC Pride’s press release concerning Dorr’s actions says that “OC Pride is aware of what happened,” but that “their goal is to remain focused on creating a healthy, loving environment for the LGBTQ+ of the community.”