Held in a large park in the midst of the city, people wandered by and through and around the PPD festivities. Bicyclists would pause on a bench to listen to the music. Little kids would run along the path of the labyrinth. People would stop to watch, and even take pictures of, our ritual, drumming, and dancing. There was a restaurant not far from the festival space and people dining on the terrace could look out over our chanting, chatting and hugging. It was very public. It was good.
While I get that it is good to use smaller, more private spaces available to us when they are convenient, this event really expressed to me what Pagan Pride is about: standing up and saying to the world you are proud to be Pagan. It’s harder to do that at an indoor event in the local UU church.
Part of my day included a hike down to the Mississippi with JRob from PNC-MN, to make an offering to that mighty river goddess and introduce myself to the gods and spirits of Paganistan. Someone walked up to him to ask what we were doing. Just curious. Here was some woman wading into the river as if it were the Ganges and offering sacred herbs to the four directions, in front of all the people just hanging out that day.
Maybe it’s just easier to be Pagan in this area, or maybe we tend to be too afraid in general, but this unapologetically public Pagan Pride Day was good for my soul. I saw Pagans being a positive vibrant force within the wider community. I saw people enjoy having us there, and checking out what we have to offer.
Being a joyful Pagan in public is good. I recommend everyone try it.