Pride Returns to Benton Harbor!

The OutCenter of Southwest Michigan is hosting Lake Effect Pride, as a “Pop-Up,” on June 26th from 2 – 4 pm, in the greenspace between The Livery, Mason Jar Cafe, and The OutCenter; and we hope the community will “pop in” to celebrate Pride! 

This is the first time Lake Effect Pride will be outside, and we invite the community to join us for the event. If possible, we ask for attendees to RSVP here. This is a family-friendly event, and the first 30 children will receive a free Swag Bag. The Center will also be selling Pride and Lake Effect Pride limited edition merchandise throughout the event. You can ensure that you have Pride merchandise waiting for you at the event by pre-ordering here

Space is provided by Prairie Real Estate and food will be provided (for sale) from food trucks Silly Sausage and Nola Roux; and beer (for sale) will be provided by The Livery. Meet and greet some of our sponsors who will be at the event, as well as OutCenter board members, staff and program facilitators. Music and radio coverage at the event will be provided live by Zack East and 98.3 The Coast. 

Our Gold Sponsors this year include @Properties, Bronson Healthcare, Comcast, Conybeare Law Office PC, DC Cook Nuclear State, Gast Manufacturing, Horizon Bank, Lakeshore Inn, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church, Silly Sausage, and Whirlpool Corporation. Our Silver Sponsors this year include 108 Yogi Kate, Apothica Teas, Mason Jar Cafe, Michigan Shoe Repair, Peat’s Cider, Pilgrim Congregational UCC, The Livery, Temple B’Nai Shalom, Zoovolution. Our Bronze Sponsors this year include Accents- Himalaya Textiles, Citadel Dance & Music Center, Forte Coffee, Full Circle Cafe, Small Town Wedding, Three Pillars Music. 

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage unvaccinated Lake Effect Pride attendees to wear a mask. We encourage all attendees to respect social distancing, sign in upon arrival (for contact tracing if needed), and to follow all guidelines provided by the State of Michigan. We encourage the entire community to pop in, but also to be considerate for all attendees present and abide preferred social distancing. For those uncomfortable with an outdoor gathering, donations, support, and merchandise can be picked up or dropped off via a car drive by! 

The OutCenter of Southwest Michigan’s mission is to provide support and advocacy for LGBTQ+ people and their families in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties of Southwest Michigan. Learn more about this mission at Lake Effect Pride by connecting with a Program Facilitator or head to our website