New gay expo kicks off Sept. 19

Touted as the first large-scale, non-Pride-related gathering of businesses and resources for the Midwest's GLBT community, the Rainbow Community Expo is slated to take place this month at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The event, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., is being promoted throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and North and South Dakota.

Pat Burger, one of three women organizing the expo, says she hopes the event will be as successful as similar events held in New York and San Francisco.

The owner of a company that produces corporate meetings, Burger has had 20 years of experience organizing events. Fellow organizers Jackie Fendler, a therapist, and Laurie Jones, a volunteer coordinator for Women Works, are similarly equipped to assist in the year-long task of putting it all together.

Barb Weiser, manager of Amazon Feminist Bookstore in Minneapolis, believes the expo will be a "better venue than Pride" because its focus will be "less party-oriented." By participating in the event she hopes to gain the attention of outstate visitors.

David Plante, marketing director of Papa John's, says his company's involvement in the expo will be part of its continuing support of the GLBT community. "The community has supported us, and we've been really successful in this area," he says. "This event will provide an opportunity for people to come together and have fun."

Admission for the event will be $6 per person, or $2 with a donation of two nonperishable food items. Profits from the expo will be donated to the Women's Cancer Resource Center, GLBT Twin Cities Pride, The Aliveness Project, Capital City Pride, Camp Heartland, District 202, and OutFront Minnesota.

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