History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Organizations - Activist & Political - PrideFest

PrideFest - 1996
"Carry The Torch"
- At A Glance -

June 7-9, 1996


Henry W. Maier Festival Park




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Relocates to Summerfest Grounds (Henry W. Maier Festival Park)
First 2-day Festival for Milwaukee Pride

Annual Meeting

Return to PrideFest Timeline.



The year 1996 found PrideFest moving once again, this time to the spacious Henry W. Maier Festival Park, the best festival facility in the U.S. With permanent stages complete with professional lighting, food buildings, vendor pavilions and support from the staff of Milwaukee World Festivals, Inc., the managing body of the park, PrideFest joined 14 other festivals that used the park for their events.

In fact, PrideFest had the distinct honor in 1996 of kicking off the festival season for Milwaukee, which has the unofficial slogan, "City of Festivals."

PrideFest 1996 also expanded to 2 days. Despite a stationary cold front, complete with driving torrential rains, 9,640 brave souls attended. The 1996 festival has been fondly remembered as "RainFest" ever since.

The Board of Directors for 1996 Pride was (in the order they were listed in the Pride records):

  • Bill Meunier
  • Susan Cook
  • Rick Finger
  • Sheldon Shur
  • Bob Moore
  • Dale Gutaman
  • Mike Hall
  • Chris Klein
  • Jason Kostrzewa
  • Lil Lau
  • Lori Sitzwohl
  • Mike Lisowski
  • John Prentice
  • W Michael Ross
  • Del Slowski
  • David Todd



1996 Pride Guide cover
(actual size: 6.5"w x 10.625"h)
(96 pages, newsprint)
Click here to view pages from the 1996 Pride Guide
Pride Parade & map



President Bill Clinton
County Executive Proclamation

Credits: design and arrangement by Don Schwamb, with materials contributed by PrideFest and Ted Berg.
Last updated: April-2011.