The Annual YS Pride Parade is getting a "spirit" thanks to the vision of Darryl Demure of Harpers Bazzaroworld, which presents The MS. Demure Show - "The Oldest Non-Profit LGBTQ+ Public Access Variety Talk Show in the USA."
With the Village Yellow Springs arguably being a leader in the Miami Valley in terms of community inclusivity & diversity, Yellow Springs Pride Inc. continues its mission of connecting people from all walks of life to opportunities and LGBTQ+ resources. The Annual YS Pride Festival is one of the most colorful festivals in the area, with a notable parade that travels throughout the central arteries of the Village. The YS Pride Parade features people, businesses, and groups from all over the country displaying their pride colors on floats, on cars, on bikes, and other vehicles. Businesses enter the parade & demonstrate their branded support, and offer the LGBTQ+ visible options of resources and welcoming services. Non-profits, individuals, groups, and more descend on Yellow Springs in an array of colors and personalities to enjoy this family-friendly day of festivities.
This year, YS Pride Parade participants will have the opportunity to vie for the first ever Spirit Award given in Yellow Springs, OH by Ms. Demure, and sponsored by the Little Art Theatre. Ms. Demure has a long history of advocacy and a career of community support. Featured in articles from Advocate, and Dayton.com, and being a staple in the arena of Public Access Television for decades, she continues to use her platform and voice to bring together communities, organizations and people under the umbrella of unity and inclusivity.
Reconnecting with Yellow Springs via The PHILLIP Show, Ms. Demure reached out to Yellow Springs Pride President, Phillip O'Rourke, to present the option of bringing The Spirit Award to the 2023 YS Pride Festival.
Interview between Phillip O'Rourke & Ms. Demure:
HOW DID YOU BECOME CONNECTED & BEGIN WORKING ON PRIDE PARADES?
Back in 2000 there were no Pride Parades in the Miami Valley, and when I heard that Dayton wanted to enter the Statewide Parade, I was enthralled by the idea. So, I joined the Dayton Pride Partnership float committee. There were a few of us including myself who had a parade float vision, but Dale Rogers' sketch of a rainbow and our diverse collaborators started a partnership that led to Dayton, OH winning the statewide parade two years in a row with the most diverse inclusion team building float ever.
THIS SOUNDS LIKE A BIG DEAL. WHAT MADE THIS SO SPECIAL?
We made national news with cameras and helicopters from CNN plus every rainbow magazine and paper in Ohio that first summer. Our float had a live Dj and a sea of diversity of color, ethnicities, disabilities, and HIV positive. It wasn’t the norm that I had ever seen on an Ohio float. Our recipe was true inclusion! I believe that people get complacent with what they know, and [that complacency] becomes passed down from one generation to the next. There becomes a disconnect or "tone-deafness" of what inclusion really means.
HOW DID "THE SPIRIT AWARD" EMERGE?
In 2022, I inherited the original trophies that our group won. I hadn’t seen them in years and wanted to give them a new polish and donate them to the Dayton LGBT Center. After that first parade experience (which led to more Dayton Parades), I started thinking last summer (2022) about giving a special award for the most diverse inclusive team building float, and with my best friends' collaboration, we came up with the title “The SpiritAward.”
WHY IS THE SPIRIT AWARD SO IMPORTANT, AND WHY INCLUDE YELLOW SPRINGS?
Now that our country is so divided, we need to band together, because we are better when we are united! I’m so excited about my return to YS, which my program Bazzaroworld aired for years on Yellow Springs Community Access before it became a government channel. Now, I’m back, and partnering with Little Art Theatre to present this special parade award at the YS Pride Festival. It’s going to be a fabulous inclusion award for a very inclusive Yellow Springs. I’m so very excited!
This year, YS Pride Parade participants will vie for the coveted Spirit Award! Each entry will be evaluated by their OVER THE TOP FABULOUS Pride themed/inspired float or vehicle. Ms. Demure and her Spirit Award team will carefully consider each entry, and a winner will be announced from the main stage of the Festival, and receive the first ever Yellow Springs Pride Parade Spirit Award! So, register for the parade and decorate your hearts out. Make this parade an event to remember!
The YS Pride Festival Committee, and the Yellow Springs Pride Inc. Board of Directors would like to thank Darryl Demure for her vision, inspiration, and decision to bring this exciting award to Yellow Springs.
The 12 Annual YS Pride Festival is held on Saturday, June 24th from 11am-7pm in Yellow Springs, Ohio.