Ohio Valley Pride Festival Marches Through Wheeling
Hundreds turn out for third annual event
WHEELING — Under sunny skies, hundreds turned out for the Third Ohio Valley Pride Festival at Wheeling’s Heritage Port Saturday.
Ohio Valley Pride President Jack Carbasho said the festival. which offered plenty of vendors, food, music and entertainment, including several drag performances, is about “bringing the community together, and to show acceptance.”
Hundreds of people made their way along the Heritage Port sidewalk purchasing everything from colorful rainbow shirts to a variety of jewelry. Dozens of festival participates also marched throughout downtown Wheeling carrying the organizations’s banner to spread their message of acceptance. The festival lasted from noon to midnight Saturday.
Melissa Zagone of Port Smith, Ky., who was selling a variety of cups, coffee mugs, dog tags and other household wares, said she was excited to participate as a vendor at the festival for the third year in a row.
“It’s wonderful. It helps enlighten people to the fact that love is love and it doesn’t matter whether you are gay or straight, whatever, that we’re accepting,” Zagone explained.
Carbasho said Ohio Valley Pride last month officially opened its new community center at 1320 Market St. in Wheeling.
The non-profit plans to use the center to reach out to the community. According to their website, the organization that represents individuals of the LGBTQ community and their freedoms from oppression, ridicule and abuse.
The community center occupies 2,500 square feet at its Market Street location and is designed to be a place for connecting with others, attending the center’s various events. The center is the first physical space for the non-profit, which was founded in January 2017 and organizes the Ohio Valley Pride Festival in May.