It was a beautiful and colorful day for the Indianapolis Pagan Pride Day event on Saturday, September 28, 2013. The air seemed fresh, some orange, yellow, and brown leaves were scattered throughout Broad Ripple Park, and the weather cooperated with a delicate breeze and toasty warm sun. Although the actual attendance number is unknown, there certainly wasn’t a lack of attendees; both human and a few furry ones.
Upon arrival around 10:15 A.M., vendors and booths of all sorts were still finishing their set-up while the rhythmic beat coming from a nearby drumming circle set the tone for an entertaining day. The soft scent of sweet and woodsy incense could be detected, along with the candles and homemade soaps from a few of the shops that were lined-up on both sides of the dirt path of Vendor’s Alley.
The simple yet effectual opening ritual started only a little later than planned, but had a large enough crowd of people that the massive circle took up all of the ritual grounds allotted for ritual purpose. After calling the quarters the park was officially blessed and protected and the circle left open because it wouldn’t be closed until the end of the day.
There was a variety of vendors to peruse and a few information booths as well. Intricately carved figurines and bright and shiny jewelry in all the colors of a rainbow filled a few of them. Colorful clothing and bags were hanging from racks and hooks. There was a plethora of musky scented oils, incense, candles, and soaps as well as books, kits and CDs in others. Certainly not the least of all the vendors were the psychic readers, most with tarot cards, giving out some sound advice and comforting words of wisdom.
The Mabon ritual was also simple, but more energized than the opening ritual. The concept for that ritual was thanksgiving. After doing a simple breathing exercise that was to help gather the energy of the participants, there was a short moment when people were writing down, on small slips of paper, what they were thankful for and placing them in a small cauldron after lighting them over the small, bright flame of a nearby candle. Some people vocally shared what it was they were thankful for and a few others chose to keep it secret. Regardless of which they did, every person seemed satisfied and fulfilled when they were done.
The feast was an impressive and mouth-watering sight to seen. Burgers and hot dogs were being cooked on the grills, with crisp, green salads, colorful and creamy pasta, aromatic beans, and all sorts of chips for sides. There were a couple savory looking casseroles and some delectable looking corn bread. The desserts were not in short supply, from ambrosial pies and cakes, to soft and luscious cookies and brownies. The long line that wrapped around and behind the shelter leading up to the food was spectacular with both young and old patiently waiting for their turn at the feast.
While people were eating, there were skillful belly dancers up on stage and an occasional musical group entertaining the crowd. Even after people were done eating, the lively music and merriment continued with a few children joining in on the dancing at one point. The children even had their own area for simple crafts and fun activities throughout the day.
The Auction House had plenty of gently used and new items up for grabs for the silent auction. Hardback and paperback books and silky scarves were among the items. Candles, figurines, toys, and even gift certificates for events or services from participating vendors were available.
While there was plenty to see, smell, taste, and experience at this year’s Indianapolis Pagan Pride Day, it had been a long day and it became necessary to leave before the auction and closing ceremony. While walking out of the festivities, you could see the bags, upon bags of food and toiletries for the Damien Center as well as food and litter for Indy Feral. It was an amazing amount of stuff for both charities and while the exact numbers are unknown, it was later said that there was a ton for both of the worthy causes.
All in all, it was a very satisfying and worthwhile day and made the event something to really anticipate for next year.