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Akron, Ohio

Flair Fest


City of Akron Press Release
Published: 07-20-2015


City, University, LGBT Groups Welcome Entire Community to Weekend Events

            (Akron, Ohio. July 20, 2015) The City of Akron will extend the welcoming tradition of 2014’s International Gay Games in Akron and Cleveland with “Flair Fest on Main Street,” August 14-15 in Downtown Akron.

            “We saw some remarkable collaboration last year when we hosted GG9 in Akron,” says Mayor Jeff Fusco. “We again want to showcase Northeast Ohio as a welcoming place. The spirit of inclusiveness of the Gay Games continues to enhance our community as a place to live, work and play.”

            Weekend events begin with a conference at The University of Akron on Thursday, August 13. On Friday and Saturday, Lock 3 will host an art show, food and entertainment. There will be golf at the city-owned Mud Run course Friday and a 10k bicycle ride Saturday.  “With events like these, Akron demonstrates that we can be family-friendly and inclusive,” says Phil Montgomery, Deputy Service Director for the city and board president of CANAPI. “For a hundred years we’ve been an international city with four Fortune 500 companies establishing their global headquarters here. In the 21st century, we are signaling to the world that we welcome everyone to our community.” CANAPI is the beneficiary of the week’s events. It is an organization supporting LGBT rights and was formed out of the Community AIDS Network and Akron Pride Initiative.

GAME CHANGE CONFERENCE            A professional development conference that began as an outgrowth of GG9 in 2014, a series of workshops and lectures will be held Thursday, August 13, at The University of Akron Student Center from 8am to 4pm. There will also be opportunities for networking among social workers, educators, health care providers and students. CEU’s are available. Multiple topics focus on working with and understanding LGBTQ communities.  The opening speaker is Chris Seelbach, named by the White House as a “Harvey Milk Champion on Change.” He is a member of Cincinnati City Council and was named “Public Official of the Year” by the National Association of Social Workers. Also speaking is Elyzabeth Holford, Executive Director of Equality Ohio.  The conference is sponsored with the Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network of Northeast Ohio (GLSEN), Jewish Family Service, The Akron chapter of PFLAG, Plexus LGBT & Allies Chamber of Commerce, CANAPI, Equality Ohio, The University of Akron School of Social Work and The University of Akron LGBT Union. Registration is $30. Advance registration is offered on Eventbrite by going to, or e-mail [email protected].

FLAIR FEST ON MAIN STREET            A juried art show, food trucks, vendors and beverages are available for all at the second annual “Flair Fest on Main Street,” Friday, August 14 and Saturday, August 15, 11am to11pm. The Four Swedes - the Abbamania Experience - perform on the Akron General Stage Friday, with Mystic Taxi at 7pm. Gates open at 6pm. Admission is free to the Main Street activities and the Friday night Rock the Lock concert.    

            On Saturday, Lock 3 Live features Taylor Dane and Alex Newell, with Akron’s own singer/songwriter Rachel Roberts opening at 7pm. Gates open at 6pm. There is an admission charge for the Saturday night concert; it is $10 and can be purchased at the gate only, no advance sale.  Newell has been seen on TV in the recurring role as transgender student Wade "Unique" Adams on Fox's “Glee.” Taylor Dane had a string of hits in the late 80’s and early 1990s, with her debut single "Tell It to My Heart" reaching No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Other hits included the No. 1 Billboard hit "Love Will Lead You Back". She has had 18 individual hit songs reach the top ten in Billboard magazine. The 2008 song "Beautiful" reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.

LINKS AND DRINKS AT MUD RUN GOLF COURSE            Everyone is invited to join Flair Fest’s golf scramble on Friday, August 14 at the City of Akron’s award-winning Mud Run Golf Course in southwest Akron. Registration is at 1pm, with a shotgun start at 2pm.   The $40 fee includes 9 holes of golf, plus golf cart, a bucket of balls for the driving range and the cocktail reception at Mud Run. Non-golfers may enjoy the 4pm to 6pm cocktail reception only, for $25. Prizes will be given for closest to the pin, long putt and long drive. Links and Drinks is sponsored by the Akron-Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau, a key participant in 2014’s Gay Games.

SUMMIT PRIDE 10K RIDE            You can saddle-up your old or new bike or rent one for the Summit Pride Ride, Saturday, August 15, 10am to noon, sponsored with the Summit Cycling Center, the Akron Zoo, the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, and The University of Akron School of Sport Science and Wellness Education.  The ride begins at Lock 3 and gathers at the Akron Zoo before returning to Lock 3. It is not a race. Prizes will be awarded for best animal costume and the best decorated bike. The ride starts at Lock 3 at 10:30am. Registration is $20 per person, children 12 and under ride free with an adult participant. A limited number of rentals bikes will be available for $15.

REGISTER NOW            The deadline to register for the golf event is August 7. Advance registration for the bike ride and the golf are available at Eventbrite, at  For information, call the CANAPI office, 330-252-1559 or go to .

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Phil Montgomery, 330-375-2270.

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