PrideFest 2016 celebrates triumph over tragedy


Photo credit: Bobby Tanzilo

Community unites for largest LGBTQ pride celebration ever [Read more…]

Milwaukee Pride responds to Orlando tragedy

pressToday, PrideFest Milwaukee honors victims and survivors of the June 11 Orlando shooting tragedy.

[Read more…]

Meet Milwaukee Pride’s new executive director

milwaukeepride_executive_directorMilwaukee Pride, Inc., the parent organization of PrideFest Milwaukee, has hired its first-ever executive director, Eric Heinritz. [Read more…]

Only 30 days until PrideFest Milwaukee!

11180337_10152974233943882_1941415116087322557_nGet up-to-the-minute updates with our “One Month Out” press release. [Read more…]

Save the dates for PrideFest June 5, 6, 7

bannerSave the date for PrideFest Milwaukee, June 5, 6 and 7, 2015, at Henry W. Maier Festival Park, as we host our 28th annual celebration of LGBT culture and community at Milwaukee’s beautiful lakefront.


Celebrating historic successes

Last year, PrideFest Milwaukee welcomed a record-breaking 31,295 visitors to a historic weekend heralding the arrival of marriage equality in Wisconsin.

The three-day weekend celebrated many significant gains, including:

  • Festival sponsorships +40%
  • Advanced / reserved ticket sales +28%
  • Gate ticket sales +22%
  • Vendor participation +20%
  • Overall attendance +3% vs. record

The Plus One Campaign, which allowed ticket holders to pledge an extra $1 to a featured annual cause, generated $2,827 to support the ACLU of Wisconsin in their legal battle for marriage equality. PrideFest sponsor Diamond Nexus generously matched these funds for a total donation of $5,754.

Pridefest 2015 Ad 9.5x10.7“Last year, we struck gold with a diverse entertainment lineup, high-energy events and experiences, and new food and drink options. We worked so hard to bring newness to the grounds, and people really responded to the changes,” said Kate Sherry, festival co-producer.

“Of course, we cannot and should not deny the electrifying emotional climate of PrideFest 2014.  Hosting an LGBT pride festival during such a momentous Wisconsin weekend was a meaningful experience for us all.”

View our 2014 photo collection on Flickr.


Advancing our mission

To support sustainable growth, PrideFest Milwaukee recently applied for and achieved official designation as a 501c3 non-profit organization with the Internal Revenue Service and State of Wisconsin.

In the first quarter of 2015, the 501c4 entity PrideFest Milwaukee, Inc. will be dissolved and reorganized as a new 501c3 entity, Milwaukee Pride, Inc.  The new organization will continue to produce the annual festival. With strategic planning support from Lambert-Pearcy LLC, the Board of Directors and other stakeholders have begun the transition process.

“By reorganizing as a 501c3, Milwaukee Pride, Inc. will enjoy expanded fundraising capabilities not previously available to us,” said Scott Gunkel, PrideFest president.  “Being a PrideFest sponsor or donor now has more favorable financial benefits. We will also be eligible for grants that were previously out of reach. This change is a tremendous investment in the long-term health and wellness of our organization.”

Milwaukee Pride, Inc. has also named three new board members to steward the emerging organization:

  • Jessica Baker
  • Jorna Taylor
  • Eric Heinritz

Other members of the Milwaukee Pride, Inc. board include Stephanie Knuteson, Denise Haussy, Michail Takach, Wes Shaver, Paul Masterson, Tim Talsky, Francisco Araiza and Scott Gunkel.

Countdown to pride

Additional announcements, including ticket prices, box office information, entertainment line-up, schedule of events, contests and promotions, will be released in mid-March.

For up-to-the-minute PrideFest news, follow us on  Facebook and  Twitter.

Without the generous support of our community, PrideFest Milwaukee would not be possible.  We welcome performers, volunteers, vendors, sponsors and media partners to be part of the 2015 festival operation.  To learn more about these opportunities, contact us at

We proudly present our 2014 headliners!


Lisa Lampanelli. Sandra Bernhard. Macy Gray. Chad Michaels. Steve Grand. Mary Lambert. Bruce Vilanch. Big Freedia. And many, many more!

PrideFest Milwaukee is proud to welcome these talented entertainers to Henry W. Maier Festival Park June 6, 7 and 8 for the nation’s largest showcase of LGBT talent. [Read more…]