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Akron Pride Prepares for Protestors, More Recycling and Many More People

photo of Orlando 49
A travelling memorial commemorating the 49 people killed at the Pulse Night Club, 'Orlando 49,' will be on display at Akron Pride. Donations will also be accepted for Inspiration Orlando, a mural underway in Florida.

Akron’s second annual Pride Festival takes place this Saturday, and organizers are dealing with a number of challenges connected with the rapidly growing event.

Organizers of this year’s Pride Festival have had to start turning away vendors due to limited space in Hardesty Park. The steering committee is also expecting protestors – something that didn’t happen last year. A flyer has been circulating online asking for “Prayer Warriors” to surround the park.

Cindy Christman, chair of the festival’s Safety Committee, says she does not consider the flyer to be threatening.

“They’re encouraging other church-going people to come out and talk to people about the Bible. And certainly they can do that. They can do that in the park. They can do it around the park. Protests are legal, as long as you don’t cross that line and do an illegal event.”

Christman says they’re still looking for volunteers for this year’s festival.

One other change from last year is an increased focus on the festival’s recycling and waste reduction initiatives. Volunteers will be assisting people with putting trash into the correct bins.

Cindy Christman on the Orlando art projects


Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.