October 17, 2002
Supersedes Press Release Of October 14, 2002 -- Please Replace
AVAILABLE FOR DISTRIBUTION
PLEASE DISTRIBUTE FREELY
For More Info, Contact:
Executive Director, Pagan Pride Project
Membership Director, Pagan Pride Project
(Contact the project)
PAGAN PRIDE PROJECT 2002 EVENT ATTENDANCE BREAKS 30,000
With 105 events reporting in, the final reported attendance and charitable contribution numbers for the Fifth Annual Pagan Pride Day events have set records for the second year in a row -- and due to a final attendance revision by Town Hall Security in Brisbane, Australia, attendance has broken 30,000.
At events held in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal, and Brazil, final attendance for 2002 comes in at 31,506, an increase of just over 14,000 over 2001's numbers. This was despite the largest number of protestor incidents in Pride history, with protestors or observers being noted at several events, including Raleigh, NC; Dover, DE; Jackson, MI; Joplin, MO; Pittsburgh, PA; Winnipeg; Rochester, NY; and Dallas, TX.
A new single event record for US events was also set, with attendance at Jacksonville, FL Pagan Pride being conservatively estimated at 3,000. Brisbane, Australia, also brought Pagan Pride to full flower Down Under with an attendance of 4,000 (revised upwards from 2,000 after a final report from Town Hall Security in Brisbane), and Sacramento, California, finally outgrew their VFW facility with 2,000. Press coverage was also up, with more than 70 mentions in the media, and almost every report presented an accurate, sympathetic portrayal of Pagans and Pagan Pride.
Charitable contributions were up as well. Pagan Pride attendees donated 24,244.55 pounds of food and goods to local food banks, womens' and childrens' shelters and charities, and animal shelters -- just over twelve tons. This was 9,070 pounds more than 2001. Finally, Pagan Pride attendees dug deep into pockets and change jars to donate $19,202.48 to local, regional, and national charities. This was an impressive $4,112.27 over last year, despite last year's collections being fueled by 9-11 charitable work.
Pride encourages celebration of the Second Annual Out Of The Broom Closet Day, scheduled for October 31, on which Pagan Pride is asking folks to wear a public symbol of their religious beliefs or to come out of the 'broom closet' to coworkers, family, or friends. In addition, many PPP Local Coordinators and organizing committees are considering doing other events throughout the year; contact your Local Coordinator for information on those community-building and fundraising events.
Pride would like to pay a significant 'thank you' to the growing number of Pagan musicians supporting Pride. The Gods have given us some brilliant artists; it's good to be able to support them and have them support us. Over the next six months, we hope to provide an online directory to musicians, writers, artists, and other performers and lecturers who appeared at Pride events.
New events already signed up for 2003 include Kitchener, Ontario, Canada; Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Niagara Falls, NY; St Louis, MO; Tulsa, OK; Baton Rouge, LA; Corpus Christi, TX; Savannah., GA; North Conway, NH; Modesto, CA; Sioux City, IA; Columbus, OH; and Coos Bay, OR.
For more information about finding a Pagan Pride Local Coordinator in your area or becoming a Local Coordinator, check out http://www.paganpride.org.