Hobart’s Veterans Park will host GLBT festival
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent September 10, 2012 10:40PM
Updated: October 12, 2012 6:12AM
HOBART — Two Northwest Indiana groups are planning the first of its kind music festival in the region designed to bring the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender and straight communities together.
The Hobart Park Board Monday gave its approval for the Northwest Indiana Pride and Rainbow Serenity groups to hold a Bridging the Gap Music Fest 2012 at Veterans Park, Indiana 51 and 73rd Avenue, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 13, with certain conditions.
The two groups must have insurance for the event, provide adequate security, post signs indicating no alcoholic beverages are allowed and clean up the grounds after the event.
Jenny Peek, with Northwest Indiana Pride, said the inaugural event would be a family-friendly event featuring local musical performers and food and retail vendors. She said admission will be $10.
“We want this to be family-friendly. The one thing is that all, regardless of their orientation, are accepting of one another,” Peek said.
She said the groups expect about 100 people to attend.
“It’s the first time we’re holding the event. We don’t expect a huge crowd,” Peek said.
She said Northwest Indiana Pride has 23 members and Josh Wagman, of Rainbow Serenity, said that group has 240 members. Wagman didn’t expect all the Rainbow Serenity members to attend, however.
According to a leaflet provided by Peek, the groups chose Veterans Park because it is centrally located in Northwest Indiana, and has adequate space for vendors, performers and festival goers. Two pavilions will be used as stages.
The leaflet said music groups were selected to provide a range of music genres and with emphasis on participants who support the cause of uniting the straight and GLBT communities.
Eight musical groups or musicians were listed. The vendor lineup includes GLBT Michiana, Out And About, Living Under the Rainbow, First Unitarian Church of Hobart, Pride Wear, PFLAG Munster, craft and Tupperware vendors and a hot dog vendor.
Parks Supt. John Mitchell pointed out there is no electric at the park except for the monument area and bathrooms. Peek said they would provide generators.
Park board member Sergio Mendoza asked if they would be providing traffic assistance into and out of the park and told the groups to make sure the fire department is contacted regarding code for the generators and the staging.
Peek and Wagman said they would comply with all the conditions.
The original timeline for the music festival was 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., but organizers agreed to end it at 6 p.m. at Mitchell’s suggestion due to darkness.