Festival to take place around Soldier's Memorial construction on June 24-26, 2016; Pride Operations Director Steve Zeiger named to City of St. Louis Soldier's Memorial Commission


ST. LOUIS, Mo. - PrideFest returns to Soldier's Memorial downtown on June 24-26, 2016 with several exciting new elements planned for the weekend. The 37th annual LGBT celebration will take place amid the multi-million dollar overhaul of the iconic 1938 building. Festival organizers from Pride St. Louis, Inc. met previously with the Missouri History Museum, who is overseeing the construction and design, as well as the City of St. Louis Special Events Department to cement plans to remain downtown despite the rehab that starts next month. The updated Soldier's Memorial Museum and Court of Honor will re-open in 2018.


In making the announcement to remain downtown, Pride St. Louis officials said they will also unveil plans to showcase the exciting additions to this year’s festival - the city's largest - in the coming months. 


“The St. Louis community really has embraced this important community festival and we’re excited to continue the PrideFest tradition in downtown St. Louis in the heart of the city,” said Matt Harper, Pride St. Louis President. “When we moved locations from Tower Grove Park to downtown in 2013 we were confident this would have a positive impact on the St. Louis celebration and it is important that we remain where our home has been and will continue to be each year.”


With its move to downtown St. Louis in 2013, PrideFest has continued to grow and prosper with last year’s event drawing a crowd of over 200,000 people, including almost 100,000 spectators for the second largest annual parade in St. Louis.


“Thanks to the tremendous support of the City of St. Louis, the Mayor’s Office, and the downtown business community - in our 4th year downtown since moving from Tower Grove Park, we’ve really grown," offered Ethan Barnett, Festival Co-Director. "We appreciate that the Missouri History Museum and the City of St. Louis will continue to allow us to host our event around the Memorial and look forward to another excellent celebration.”


Also in 2013, Pride organizer Steve Zeiger unveiled what is believed to be the nation’s first formal PrideFest recognition of fallen LGBT soldiers with a wreath laying ceremony kicking off the festivities from the steps of Soldier's Memorial. In addition, the Memorial has been bathed in rainbow lighting for the past three years to honor PrideFest and LGBT military members serving everywhere. Zeiger, Operations Director for Pride St. Louis as well as Director of the Official Wreath Laying Ceremony and Military Pride Parade element, was recently invited to join the City of St. Louis Soldier's Memorial Commission, which will continue to serve in an advisory capacity.


“I never dreamed that in bringing this historical element to PrideFest that I would be named and serve on this commission,” said Zeiger. “I’m honored to hold this position as an American, a retired veteran and self-identified, openly gay man. To my knowledge, no other LGBT person has been asked to serve in this capacity and I am grateful to the honorable Mayor Francis Slay and this commission for this incredible opportunity.”


For the latest news and information on PrideFest as well as links to the Pride's Facebook, Twitter, and Volunteer, Parade and Vendor applications, please visit www.pridestl.org.


For additional details regarding the Soldier's Memorial Renovation please visit http://mohistory.org/soldiersmemorial

 

About Pride St. Louis


The mission of Pride St. Louis, Inc. is “To foster an understanding of and equality for the LGBT community in the general population by raising awareness through educational programs and events ultimately leading up to the annual PrideFest in St. Louis.

 

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