Pride of Golden Valley

Largest LGBT community per capita in the state celebrates in style.
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In the spirit of Pride Month, Golden Valley will be hosting its second annual Pride Festival on June 11 at Brookview Park. To get more details on the event, and the origins of Minnesota’s largest LGBT community per capita, we spoke to John Kluchka, co-chair of the Golden Valley Pride Festival team.  

How did the Golden Valley Pride Festival come to be such a celebrated event?
It’s a true neighbor-created festival that started with the idea that a city like Golden Valley really ought to have its own LGBT Pride festival. Golden Valley’s measured growth, its openness to diversity, and its access and proximity to great metro amenities have made it a welcome home to many LGBT families. Plus, the city itself led the way with official support for equality and marriage rights, including an early civil union registry.

How do you hope to distinguish your event from the larger festivals in the area?
Behind the scenes, our partnerships on a local and national level are a big part of our success. But on festival day, everyone talks about how the Golden Valley Pride Festival “feels” different—relaxed, and a great place to bring the kids, grab lunch or dinner, and spend a summer afternoon with your neighbors. It’s truly a local community gathering, and word spreads quickly when something special like this happens. It begins a new tradition.

What impact do you hope Golden Valley Pride has on the local community?
It’s actually had a dramatic impact already, and one the team hopes to build and strengthen. The biggest has been the impact of having everyone in Golden Valley come together for such a great day. Personally, what impacted me most was just how many of our supportive neighbors who came out to show their love. To me, that made the Golden Valley Pride Festival about pride in my whole community—they all came out to celebrate our LGBT unity across all walks of life.

(KARE 11 anchor Jana Shortal, who will host.)