HOBART | Veteran's Memorial Park will be the site of a festival Oct. 13 that organizers hope will bring the gay and straight communities closer together.
The Hobart Park Board on Monday approved a request to hold Bridging the Gap Musical Festival at the city park at 5899 E. 73rd Ave.
Northwest Indiana Pride representative Jenny Peek said the musical festival is the first of its kind, both for the area and the country.
"A community that works together is a stronger community," Peek said.
The festival is jointly sponsored by Northwest Indiana Pride and Rainbow Serenity, two local organizations committed to the local gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, representatives said.
"We're focusing on similarities despite gender differences," Peek said.
Prior to giving approval for the event, the Park Board peppered representatives with a number of questions about such things as insurance, security and cleanup.
Park Superintendent John Mitchell suggested the festival end at 6 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. as proposed because the park is not lighted and the sun will be setting earlier by mid-October.
Peek said the event will be family-oriented and will feature a variety of local musical groups and food vendors.
No alcohol will be served at the event, representatives said.
The entry fee to attend the event will be $10, with profits split between the two organizations and the musical performers, Peek said.
The expected attendance is about 100, Peek and other representatives said.
"We're hoping you'll come out and enjoy yourself," Peek told the Park Board.
Northwest Indiana Pride has about 23 members, while Rainbow Serenity has 240 members, representatives said.