About Twin Cities Pagan Pride
Twin Cities Pagan Pride formed in 1999 as a part of the international Pagan Pride Project that encouraged and supported groups all over the world to hold their own Pagan Pride Day in the fall. Pagan Pride was intended to help increase local community goodwill towards paganism and to encourage positive media portrayals of pagans. The first Twin Cities Pagan Pride Day was held in September 2000 at the University of Minnesota.
There was a huge response from the community, and we started adding vendors, programming, and entertainment. In 2004, we legally incorporated in the state of Minnesota and then in 2008, we applied for – and received – our 501(c)3 designation, so all donations to us are tax deductible.
As time went on, more and more people wanted to participate and encouraged us to expand. Unfortunately, that proved to be difficult because one of the requirements from the Pagan Pride Project umbrella was that the event be free and open to the public. At the time, the event was held indoors and there is only so much space that can be rented with a budget of nearly nothing.
So, in 2010, we made the decision to split into two events: one would stay true to the vision of the Pagan Pride Project – free and open to the public, portraying pagans in a positive light with public rituals, basic introductory informational programming, and a wide variety of artisans and vendors, and supporting our local community by holding a food drive. The second would be held in the spring and follow a more traditional convention model – held in a hotel where people can spend the entire weekend surrounded by like-minded people, with guests of honor from all over the world, and a wide variety of programming and entertainment.
March 25-27, 2011, was the very first Paganicon, held at the Doubletree Park Place Hotel in St Louis Park. We started out with only a couple of rooms on the ground floor, but very quickly expanded to the entire conference area of the hotel. We outgrew that hotel and relocated to the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth in 2019, where we are to this day.
Saturday, September 10th, 2011, was the first Twin Cities Pagan Pride Fall Festival, held at Minnehaha Falls Park near the bandshell. That was the first Saturday after Labor Day, and it has been held on that day every year since (with the exception of 2020).
Twin Cities Pagan Pride has its own charter and bylaws and is entirely volunteer run. Our Board of Directors currently consists of nine individuals: Wendy Seidl, Becky Munson, Cindy Miller, Laurie Froberg, Jason Neu, Austin Goodwin, Emma Larson, Lily McNamara, and Keith Apperson.