Fun stuff / Hampton Roads

Out in the Park on a Sunday afternoon

Sunday’s rainstorms gave way to an overcast, steamy day so I along with a lot of other people headed to Town Point Park for the 23rd Annual Out in the Park festivities.

It’s been a while since I attended one of these. Actually, I haven’t been since the event moved from Lafayette Park about six years ago. It is almost impossible to describe just how far this event has come since then.

I’m pretty bad with estimating crowd sizes but there were a lot of people there. Organizers had anticipated 10,000 – I don’t know if they made that number due to the earlier rain, but the park was full. The DC Cowboys, referenced in this article, had just finished performing when I arrived and music was blasting from the speakers on the stage.

Tents and tables were set up around the park, selling all kinds of items. While a large group sat – or lounged – on the grass in front of the stage, a lot of folks were milling about. The crowd was a mix of people: all ages, all races, straight, gay, transgender, and everything in between.

In other words, it was just like any other festival I’ve attended at Town Point Park.

Almost.

Notable by their absence were our elected representatives. I am told that one – Sen. Yvonne Miller – was there. But no others.

That hasn’t changed since I last attended. Hard to believe candidates would give up the opportunity to speak with voters.

Oh well.

The organizers of the event are to be commended for putting on a fine Sunday afternoon in Downtown Norfolk.

Now – where’s that proclamation from the City of Norfolk I heard about?

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14 thoughts on “Out in the Park on a Sunday afternoon

  1. Its good that the event has moved from the shadows to the show place of celebration in Norfolk. CHange si hard. Even the politicians know they will have to respect and embrace the GLBT community because there is a lot of support for them especially the Democrats. this was a good step forward

  2. About that Proclamation:

    It is sitting in my car right now until we can get it framed and put it in a place of honor in the new community center! It was an amazing day and thank you for attending!

    James Hermansen-Parker
    President
    Hampton Roads Pride

      • The straight people there were probably also overwhelmingly Democrats. There is simply no upside for a politician to go there — there are no votes to get that they do not already have, and some middle-of-the-road votes could be lost. It’s all political calculus. Nothing personal, just business.

        I really don’t see that the LGBT votes can turn an election. There are two ways to do that — change which party you vote for, or change the percentage of voters. Since LGBT voters are both overwhelmingly liberal and have one of the highest turnouts already, going to that event is unlikely to significantly change the number of votes a liberal politician gets from that block.

        Conservative politicians would lose more of their base than they would pick up.

        • Since you have brown hair, the rest of us have decided that you should get less rights and be discounted when it comes election time.

          Nothing personal, just business.

          • The non sequitur alarm just went off again.

            I only said that there is very little upside to a candidates appearing at such an event, and significant downside. Nothing more.

  3. Actually, I did see Senator Miller at one point in the early afternoon as she was making the rounds of some of the vendor booths. I waved and said hello to her. I thank her for coming!

    As for the LGBT community not having many swing votes, in a close contest we sometimes do make the difference – I’ve seen it happen in at least one council race in the area.

    • The question is, in that council race, was the GLBT vote significantly out of the ordinary? Did a higher percentage vote than is normal in such an election? Did they vote more for a conservative candidate than usual?

  4. Ahhhh!!!! I meant to get the Libertarians involved. I even talked to Joel McDonald about wanting to do that. I’ve been distracted by other personal and political events. Glad it went well.

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