Columbus 2009 Pride Festival

Posted on June 21, 2009


It was an exciting weekend. I volunteered with the Red Cross first aid team at the 2009 Columbus Pride Parade and Festival. The Festival occupied Goodale Park in downtown Columbus. Thousands of people attended, I was amazed at what an event it was. The parade went right through downtown Columbus part the State House and up to the Festival. There were floats, bands, and all kinds of interesting marchers in the parade.

The Festival is about showing pride in being gay, lesbian, or transsexual. While most of the participants were just like the participants in any festival, this festival has drag queens and nudity. It is unlike anything I have done with the Red Cross. There were a couple people who were not happy to see the Red Cross there as the Red Cross as a policy does not accept blood donations from gay men. This is perceived by some as anti-gay. We were able to engage the people who challenged us by explaining that we were volunteers who were there for the safety of the crowd.

We were pretty busy as it was a hot, sunny day. We handed out lots of band-aids to parade participants who had blisters. There were a couple more serious incidents such as a woman who had chest pains and a man who was stung by a bee who had a strong allergy to stings. No paramedic transports though and everyone ultimately left our first aid tent smiling.