Philly Pride Presents will host the inaugural Winter Pride from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 22 at Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn’s Landing.
Executive director Franny Price said the decision to have a winter event grew from the lack of LGBT-focused events during the chillier months.
“I think it will be nice to have something in the winter,” she said. “Ice skating is one thing that if you turn it into an event, people will come out, and we are hoping people do. Some people only come out for events and some people who have been inside all winter might have cabin fever.”
After seeing fireworks at the rink, Price decided the area would be the perfect place for a winter LGBT event.
“The skating rink is beautiful and it’s huge. It can hold up to 600 people at one time,” she said.
According to Price, individuals will be provided a safe environment to ice skate with their partners, families and friends.
“You can be yourself and not worry about others making negative remarks. Partners can hold hands while ice skating. Our LGBT families will be able to skate together without the children hearing any negativity about their families,” she said. “We are a respectful community and we are mindful to not make others feel uncomfortable and we don’t like others to make us feel uncomfortable, so this is something we can provide. This event will be for everyone — our community and our allies.”
Tickets to the event will be $15, which will include skate rentals. Any organization that is interested in selling tickets would have the chance to keep $5 per ticket sold.
Shuttle buses will run from 5:30-8:30 p.m., with stops at different bars in the Gayborhood.
Price said she has already received a wealth of positive feedback, specifically on her Facebook page.
“When I first put the idea out there on Facebook, I had 30-something people in five minutes respond, and then I put it on my Facebook to officially announce it and a lot of people said, ‘Go for it.’”
Organizers have already received interest from a local ice-hockey team to act as ushers for the event and are currently looking for sponsors.
“This is the first time and like every first, we are trying to make this successful. We still need participation from organizations and local bars. If we get 200 people, it is a success.”
Price is currently in pursuit of female impersonators who can ice skate.
“We are looking to select someone to sing on ice and perform ‘I Am What I Am.’ The Philadelphia Flyers always had Kate Smith. We are looking for something like that. Someone really entertaining who could possibly kick this event off every year.”
While Price is planning for Winter Pride to be an annual event, she said it will take time to grow and develop.
“We have to see what happens. Maybe next year, we could do it longer or multiple times. If it works, then we will make it bigger and better every year and come up with more creative ideas.”
For more information, visit www.phillypride.org.