Main Street Kent Presents Kent Rainbow Weekend
Rainbow Run, Bar Crawl, Music, Comedy, DJs, Training and More to Support LGBTQ+ Community
Kent, OH — Get ready for a full weekend of fun events including art shows, music, entertainment, educa-tion, storytelling and more in support of the LGBTQ+ community! Kent Rainbow Weekend will take place on Fri., Oct. 7 & Sat., Oct. 8 with a full lineup of things to do and rainbow decorations to see in downtown Kent. The event is presented by Absolut and sponsored by The Portager, PFLAG, College Town Kent, Hall-Green Agency and Auto-Owners Insurance. Details including dates, times and ticket/registration for all activities are available at: mainstreetkent.org/events/kent-rainbow-weekend/.
On Fri., Oct. 7, the LGBTQ+ Center at Kent State University will host the annual Rainbow Run. Proceeds will benefit the center’s emergency fund, which assists students in crisis. Also on Friday evening, Main Street Kent will host the Rainbow Weekend Bar Crawl, sponsored by Absolut. Participants will receive rainbow swag, raffle tickets and rainbow jello shots at check-in. Friday evening entertainment will include the band Van Sailin’ at Water Street Tavern, a variety of live music at Zephyr Pub, DJ Jeff Tritt at 157 Lounge, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show at The Kent Stage. LGBTQ+ inspired art shows will be open all weekend, with receptions being held at Troppus Projects and Squirrel City Jewelers on Friday evening; FJKluth Art Gallery, Bell Tower Brewing, McKay Bricker Framing and Scribbles Coffee will also host rain-bow exhibitions/artists.
On Saturday, Main Street Kent will host three sessions at Kent Free Library: Safe Space Ally Training and two speaker panels, “How Faith Leaders Create LGBTQ+ Affirming Spaces” and “Parents: Pitfalls and Proud Moments, a PFLAG Panel.” These sessions are free, and donations are encouraged in support of the Kent State LGBTQ+ Center emergency fund. Registration is limited to 50 people per session. Also on Saturday, check out the Rainbow Flower Bar and live music by Morgan Mecaskey and Jess Miller at Bell Tower Brewing; a take-and-make craft (while supplies last) and Pride children’s book display at Kent Free Library; a free rainbow streamer craft (while supplies last) at Red Letter Days; face painting and a rain-bow quilt raffle at Popped!; a DJ with fun activities including drag queen speed tarot readings in the Acorn Alley courtyard and Hippie Fox Rocks and more! Downtown businesses will feature rainbow specials all weekend, including Bent Tree Coffee, Kent Natural Foods Co-op, Kent Sportswear, and more to come. A “Spread the Love” interactive art display will be stationed outside of Franklin Hall on the Kent State cam-pus on Sat., leading up to a special screening of “Mama Bears,” a documentary about mothers who risk losing friends, family and faith communities to keep their children safe — even if it challenges their belief systems. Free seating is limited to 100 people; donations will benefit the Kent State LGBTQ+ Center emergency fund. On Saturday evening, a “Courageously Queer: Identity” storytelling event will take place at North Water Brewing followed by live music with Diana Chittester; Water Street Tavern will host the La-dies Night Band; Bell Tower Brewing will have the Moop Troop Comedy Show and Zephyr Pub will host a drag show! Full details including performance times can be found on the Main Street Kent web-site: mainstreetkent.org/events/kent-rainbow-weekend/.
“We’re thrilled to bring Rainbow Weekend back to Kent, and we couldn’t do it without our amazing part-ners and committee members. Kent is a great, welcoming and inclusive community and we want to show-case that,” shared Main Street Kent executive director Heather Malarcik.