OUT Venture Will Kick Off Twin Cities Pride Season
Billed as the “first of its kind in the country that offers a tapestry of Minnesota outdoor activities to the Twin Cities”, OUT Venture is the newest event in the palette of activities offered by Twin Cities Pride.
The 2022 Rainbow Run will culminate with OUT Venture, a unique new event featuring OUT door activities for the LGBTQ+ community as well as the greater community at large.
All are welcome to the event, which will feature a variety of food stations, a beer garden, a DJ and a drag show. There will also be prizes awarded for the best-dressed rainbow, and all runners over 21 will receive a free beer afterwards. Attendees will be able to peruse the wares and offerings of a number of local vendors as well.
Lavender chatted with Twin Cities Pride Executive Director Dot Belstler to find out what attendees can expect.
• This is a new event for Twin Cities Pride! Tell our readers what they can expect from OUT Venture.
Dot Belstler: The day will start with our traditional 5K Rainbow Run. We have also added a Slow Roll Bike Ride that’s open to all, whether they own a bike or not. Bikes and helmets will be available for those who need them. The ride is approximately 90 minutes and riders will stop at various locations to learn about the venues important to the LGBTQ+ community in the past.
Once back at Boom Island, attendees can grab a bite to eat at one of our food vendors, have a beer (one free for the Rainbow Runners), talk with LGBTQ+ sports groups, test their balance skills at the REI booth, watch a drag show, and check out other outdoor activities at the many booths.
• The event is being billed as the first of its kind—what went into the thought process of creating an event devoted to Minnesotans’ love for spending time out in the great outdoors?
DB: We were approached by Mikah Meyer with the idea for a queer outdoor event; his passion is to create Outdoor Safe Spaces for the community. Mikah is a queer travel writer who has visited all 419 National Parks, and is a sought-after speaker. In fact, he will be speaking at Hennepin United Methodist Church on Friday evening, May 20. It’s another free opportunity to get excited about getting outside.
So many times, events claim to be inclusive of LGBTQ+ folks. OUT Venture is a queer safe space that invites the entire community to an LGBTQ+ event. Over the past two years with COVID, there’s been a huge increase in the numbers of runners and bicyclists; we wanted to create a space for people to come together and find out how they can improve their skills or get started in a new outdoor activity.
• It sounds like OUT Venture is being planned as a celebration of mainly outdoor Pride-related events, but will it also highlight other outdoor activities going on throughout the year?
DB: With the COVID pandemic, people have been discouraged from gathering inside, so let’s go outside. It’s not only Pride focused events, it’s really exploring outdoor events that are safe spaces for LGBTQ+ people. The local queer sports organizations have been invited to participate in this event to both show attendees how to play their sports and invite new members to their teams. There are clubs that operate year-round so we are excited to welcome all the clubs to this event.
• Is the plan for OUT Venture to always be right after the Rainbow Run 5K, or is that plan only for this year and going forward it’ll be a standalone event?
DB: We are hoping this will be an annual event as we believe people are looking for inclusive outdoor activities. We’ll determine what’s in store for the future of the event after Pride in June when we do our recaps.
• Is OUT Venture a family-friendly event?
DB: OUT Venture is definitely family-friendly! If kids want to participate in the Slow Roll, they are encouraged to decorate their bikes. The Slow Roll will be approximately 10 miles with frequent stops over two hours, so it’s probably best for older children. Many of the exhibitors focus on youth activities, including Urban Boat Builders. The event truly is for everyone!
• Is there an admission fee for the event, or is it free to the public? Will it be held rain or shine?
DB: This event is FREE, parking at Boom Island will be limited, so we have secured parking at the Graco lot nearby.
It will be held rain or shine. Of course, we will cancel for severe weather to keep everyone safe. Watch our social media for updates.
May 21, 2022 • 12 – 6 PM • Boom Island Park, Minneapolis