Ypsi Pride 2023 is a pride month celebration that will take place in Depot Town on June 2.
Ypsi Pride will feature different performers with two stages and 76 vendors, with surrounding businesses contributing to the event. Yspi Pride has been running since 2017 and has always been in downtown Ypsilanti, but this year will be held in Depot Town due to construction.
“There is a lot of excitement around this one, it is our big return,” Kenneth Curtis, a coordinator of Ypsi Pride, said.
June 1 will begin the kick off to pride month in Ypsilanti with a Chalk-Up event taking place in Depot Town. This event will feature different organizations and community members coming together to decorate sidewalks for the pride celebration. Bright Futures, Ypsilanti District Libary, Ozone House, Unicorn Feed and Supply Co., and WC Outspace are some of the organizations that will be participating in this event running from 6-8 p.m.
Ypsi Pride is a community-forward event focusing on the Ypsilanti community members and businesses throughout the area first. They have seen an influx of support with over 6k combined followers on their social media accounts, with a large community response.
“It is our own small local pride,” Curtis said. “It's changing the culture helping revolutionize what the community is and looks like.”
The event will have a heavy focus on incorporating the youth of Ypsilanti, with two hours blocked off on the stages for youth performances.
“I'm a firm believer that everything starts with the youth in terms of what the future looks like going forward,” Curtis said.
There will be several after-parties after the pride celebration. The official afterparty will be at Mash Ypsilanti from 7 p.m. to close. There will be performances, special drinks, and different foods available only for pride, with percentages going to the Ypsi Pride organization.
There will also be a large after-party held at Best In Games which is an 18+ event and runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The cost is $37.10 per person and, with that ticket, you will receive a standard drink or appetizer and a game card equal to 80 credits. At 11 p.m., BIG becomes exclusive to Ypsi Pride participants, with a drag show taking place on the third floor at 11:30 p.m. and lots of other activities for people to enjoy to celebrate pride.
This event isn't a small feat to organize, with the process taking nearly 8 months to plan. The organization wants to give focus on pride and the people of Ypsilanti to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.
“Every pride has their own feeling - Ypsi Pride is the perfect mix between all the things,” Curtis said.
Ypsi Pride will run from 4-10 p.m. as a part of the First Fridays Ypsilanti. There will be additional free workshops, experiences, and more from nearby businesses, aside from the official pride celebration. For more information on where to park and what to expect, you can visit the Ypsi Pride Facebook page.