AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — The 2022 Akron Pride Festival kicks off this Saturday in downtown Akron, with a full day of events that are “free and open to all,” according to a news release.

The Akron Equity March will start the festivities at 10 a.m. The parade will begin at downtown’s south end, near Spaghetti Warehouse along South Main Street and end at the center of the festival in Lock 3. It’s a show of solidarity for the LGBTQ+ community in Akron and Summit County, to ensure everyone “feels safe and valued.”

The festival will continue through 10 p.m. Saturday with performances by the 2022 Drag Artist of the Year winner Natasshja Norielle and other community drag artists, and live music on stages at Lock 3, Cascade Plaza and the Akron-Summit County Public Library. A fireworks show will bring the festival to a close.

Akron’s pride festival first formed in 2017 in the Wallhaven neighborhood’s Hardesty Park and drew more than 20,000 people in 2019, organizers said.

“We are so lucky to be able to organize this beautiful event for the community in downtown Akron,” event chairperson Brian Lamoda-Genet is quoted in the release. “Pride Festival is and will continue to be free to all.”

Headliners include singer-songwriter VINCINT, drag queen and reality TV persona Coco Montrese and Ken Schneck, editor of Ohio LGBTQ+ news website The Buckeye Flame.

There will also be food trucks, more than 220 retail and non-profit vendors and an expanded children’s area from noon to 3 p.m.

Here’s a look at events on the stages:

(Shane Wynn)

Here’s a map showing parking and where to find the fun:

(Shane Wynn)