Alisha Hunter had talked about holding a Pride event in Westfield for the past several years.
“I finally decided this was the year to get it done,” said Hunter, founding member and chief executive officer of Westfield Pride Ltd. “So, we’ve been working very hard to get the process going. There’s been a lot of anti-LGBTQ legislation in the Indiana Statehouse and nationwide. I think we’ve had our share of local news of local politicians who have done things that have made the LGBTQ community feel unwelcome. It’s time to show we are a welcoming community. It’s the right atmosphere to do this and let people know we’re a supportive community.”
The inaugural Westfield Pride event will be from 2 to 7 p.m. Sept. 30 at Asa Bales Park in Westfield. The free event is designed to celebrate LGBTQ+ social and self-acceptance, achievements and legal rights.
“Carmel is the only other Pride event in Hamilton County, so we’ll be the second one,” Hunter said. “I’m the mother of an LGBTQ child, so it’s something I’m passionate about.”
Hunter said there are more than 70 Pride events in the state of Indiana, and the majority happen in June.
“There was no way we could have been ready in June, and Pride can happen anytime,” Hunter said. “I know Pride is nationally celebrated in June, but we won’t be the only ones having Pride in September. It gives us an opportunity to bring in more people that might be busy in June.”
Hunter said Carmel Pride, Indy Pride and Pendleton Pride organizers have been extremely helpful in the process.
“We’re trying to gather as much information from them to see what is best for our community,” said Hunter, who noting the group has been planning it for about eight months.
There will be two DJs and speakers. Jan’s Village Pizza, Fillers Stuffed Burgers and Que King will be among the food vendors. Hunter said there will be several local dessert vendors.
“We tried to have as many Westfield people to have craft booths there (as possible),” Hunter said. “We tried to have as many of the LGBTQ community and try to highlight (that) we have local artisans here. We also have a lot of resource booths for LGBTQ+. Gender Nexus and Indiana Youth Group will be there.”