JEFFERSON — Ashtabula County commissioners plan to proclaim June 5 as Pride Day.

The declaration coincides with a Pride Day event, slated for noon to 5 p.m. June 5 in Jefferson, sponsored by the LGBTQ Community Club of Ashtabula County. Plans include a drag show, music, unicorn pony rides, face painting, free HIV testing and more. 

Commissioner Casey Kozlowski said the proclamation came together as the result of a request by the organizers of Pride Day.

“This proclamation recognizes the work being done for the event which supports inclusiveness in our community,” he said.

“It sounds like it will be a nice event to support diversity and inclusiveness,” Commissioner J.P. Ducro IV said. “I wish organizers the best.”

June is Pride Month, a month to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning members of communities, made official in 2014 with a proclamation from former President Barack Obama. LGBTQ is an accepted initialism.

The Rev. John Werner, pastor at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Jefferson, said the commissioners have been very supportive of the event.

Originally planned for Lake Shore Park, the event will now take place at 1498 Route 46 South in Jefferson. There was some miscommunication with park officials, Werner said.

“I have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support for Pride Ashtabula County 2021,” he said. “Businesses and individuals have donated, money, time, talents and energy to support the LGBTQ community and their allies. Pride is proving that we truly are stronger together.”

Commissioner Kathryn Whittington said she appreciates the organizers of the event.

“Our proclamation supports efforts to promote inclusiveness in our community,” she said.

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