Wes Shaver



Milwaukee, WI –Wednesday, September 22, 2021– Milwaukee Pride, Inc. - the parent organization of PrideFest, Wisconsin’s largest LGBTQ+ event has announced the official line up for their fall event, “PridetoberFest” slated for October 8th and 9th at the Henry Maier Festival Park. The two-day event will operate on Friday 3 p.m. to midnight and Saturday noon to midnight. PrideFest, originally scheduled for its traditional early June dates, had to be canceled for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Organizing an event of this size with a tight time line, scheduling conflicts, everchanging COVID-19 protocols, and increased costs has proven to be quite the challenge,” commented Wes Shaver, Milwaukee Pride President. He added, “…however, it’s been worth it. I am so excited to finally announce our line up and festival plans as this event was designed to capture the spirit of Milwaukee while celebrating our LGBTQ+ community. This event brings local businesses, vendors, laborers, entertainers, and citizens together in a whole new way and I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

PridetoberFest is a “homecoming” event of sorts; with an overarching theme of celebrating local drag queen Jaida Essence Hall’s Season 12 Victory on the award winning reality show, Rupaul’s Drag Race and a full array of local LGBTQ entertainers. Over 95% of the weekend’s programming are local, Wisconsin or Milwaukee residents, including Milwaukee Buck’s own DJ Shawna as the Saturday night Dance Pavilion Headliner. Pridetoberfest is pleased to welcome back Big Freedia and Lardi B to the Miller Mainstage on Friday October 8th, while the Dance Pavilion hosts recent drag sensation, Gottmik, a finalist on the most recent season (13) of Rupaul’s Drag Race. The complete schedule can be found at Pridefest.com. In true Milwaukee festival fashion, Saturday at 8PM, the lakefront will be illuminated with a custom fireworks display; an annual tradition for PrideFest that started in 1996.

"Pride is for everyone!" said PridetoberFest Producer Luke Olson, "Saturday is our Family Day and we've got fun programming lined up for families of all sizes and ages. PrideFest (’96) was the first Pride festival in the country with a dedicated fireworks display and I am so happy we’ll be continuing this tradition at PridetoberFest. Look for us to light up the sky at 8 p.m. on Saturday night!"

Milwaukee Pride Board of Directors will implement the same gate and admission requirements Summerfest had for Pridetoberfest. Festival attendees will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test dated within 72 hours of entrance time.

The festival grounds will have hand sanitizer stations, suggest masks and social distancing whenever possible.

Every summer, Milwaukee Pride selects a local LGBTQ organization as the beneficiary of PrideFest’s largest community giving effort, the “Plus One” campaign. For Pridetoberfest, $1 from every online ticket order will be donated to the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center to support their recent relocation. Milwaukee Pride is committed to supporting safe spaces to celebrate Pride in our community.

PridetoberFest wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of presenting sponsors: Miller Lite, Vivent Health, BMO Harris Bank, SKYY Vodka, and Froedtert & The Medical College and Rockstar Design.

For all festival information, entertainment lineup, online ticket sales, accommodations and more, please log onto www.pridefest.com. Volunteers, vendors, and sponsorship opportunities are still available. Visit website for quick online inquiries.

For more information, please contact Wes Shaver at wshaver@milwaukeepride.org or call 414-639-5021.