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Hughesville, Pa. — For the first time, the Lycoming County fairgrounds will host the new Lycoming OutDay Festival on Saturday, Oct. 8.

According to the festival’s poster, the event will be “Lycoming County’s overdue welcome to the LGBTQ+ community.”

The festival opens at 11 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m., with tickets on sale at the gate or online.

Tickets purchased online prior to Oct. 8 are $10 plus a .25 cents service fee. Tickets purchased on the day of the event or at the gate will be $12.

The main attraction will be the drag show on the main stage hosted by drag queen Jasmine Kennedie.

Kennedie is best known for her appearance on the last season of RuPaul’s Drag Race where she came out as trans on the show. Kennedie was one of the five openly trans contestants to take part in season 14.

Those interested can purchase a ticket that comes with a meet-and-greet with Kennedie for $50.

Along with Kennedie, nine local queens will also be taking the stage to perform.

Local musician Lilith Nobody was set to perform, but she withdrew from the event after a "moral conflict" with the organizers. 

Nobody provided this comment to NorthCentralPa.com about her decision to withdraw: 

"All I really have to say is that I, Lilith Nobody, have formally withdrawn from the Lycoming Out Day event due to reasons of moral conflict," Nobody said. "Rock music has always been about challenging corruption, and I would have been shirking that duty had I stayed in the event."

Dan Maneval, LGBT Williamsport Community Outreach vice president, said that Nobody's accusations are "false." 

In addition to the stage show, the event will feature multiple vendors selling food, art, and more.  

The organizers for the event, The LGBT Williamsport Community Outreach, are choosing to have the festival around National Coming Out Day, which is Oct. 11, instead of the more common Pride Month, which took place back in June.

“We decided to have a coming out-based event, because I think that this area really needs it. A lot of people don’t come out of the closet," organization President Fred Foster said. "The main focus is to make people feel comfortable in Lycoming County and Williamsport.”

He continued, “The biggest form of activism is to be yourself.”

Maneval also noted that “June was pretty well booked” this year and said they wanted to make an event where people could go to a local pride event, as well as theirs.

The Columbia-Montour Pride organization’s first Outfest, held in 2021, was a big inspiration for them when they started planning the event last year, Foster noted.

“I enjoyed it so much, and I wanted to see that kind of coming out and that kind of event happen here,” Foster said.

With the increase of LGBTQ+ events facing targeted harassment campaigns, some may be worried about attending the event. Time Magazine reported in June that “at least 11 different LGBTQ Pride events across the United States have been disrupted by right-wing protesters or delayed due to threats of violence.”   

For those who are concerned, the organizers have a plan and all protestors will have a designated space which must be used, Foster explained.

“Unfortunately, it may be used,” he said. “According to Pennsylvania law, if you provide an area for picketing/protesting, then they have to use that area.”

Foster said that the Hughesville Police Department has been working with the event organizers as well.

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