ALTON - The Old Bakery Beer Company is hosting an artisan fair in honor of Pride Month. The Proud Market will showcase work by local LGBTQ+ and ally vendors.
The market will open from 5–8 p.m. on Thursday, June 15. The event will also serve as a fundraiser for Alton Pride and the Metro Trans Umbrella Group, two local LGBTQ+ organizations.
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“We do a lot of markets throughout the year. We like to support local artisans. And they always do really well, so we thought it was a good chance to highlight specifically some of the LGBTQ+ artisans in our area,” Lauren Pattan, vice president and operations manager of The Old Bakery Beer Company, said.
The event will include 12 local vendors, with products ranging from handmade patches to jewelry to candles and more. Pattan said that last year’s Proud Market was “really successful.”
In addition to vendors, The Old Bakery Beer Company will offer their usual food and drink menu with a few special additions. The restaurant sponsors a charity every month with their “Drink for a Cause” program. Alton Pride, a group that organizes many LGBTQ+ events in the area, will receive 25% of all sales on June 15 through this program.
“They’ve been an excellent partner,” Michael Paynic said of The Old Bakery Beer Company. Paynic is the president of Alton Pride.
Throughout the month, customers can also purchase a pint or six-pack of the restaurant’s popular Hibiscus Tart beer. A percentage of those proceeds will go to Metro Trans Umbrella Group, a support and advocacy group for transgender individuals in the Greater St. Louis area.
“Mostly, we just want it to be a successful fundraising night for both Alton Pride and the Metro Trans Umbrella Group,” Pattan said. “We want to have a good turnout to make sure that we are able to give back a good amount to them. We just want it to be an open-minded event for people to come out and feel safe and enjoy our space.”
Pattan said The Old Bakery Beer Company has many LGBTQ+ team members, which is partly why the restaurant decided to organize the Proud Market. She hopes the event will be a fun opportunity to fundraise for these local charities and show support to the LGBTQ+ community.
“It’s a lot about just being supportive of the people who are around us, our friends and our family members and team members and other people in our community who, especially in recent years, have been threatened and attacked,” Pattan said. “We want to make sure that we can provide a safe space for them and they can see that we are actually supporting them in a real way.”
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