Prepare to take a shot at the dunking booth and spend some time in a bouncy castle, because Lexington Pride Festival 2012 is focusing on family.
"From beginning to end, there is going to be something for anybody of any age," said Paul Brown, chairman of the event, which celebrates gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender culture.
Some of the more kid-centric amenities didn't make it into festival plans last year, Brown said, and they were missed and reinstated.
"We have a lot of people who come out and want to bring their kids," he said.
The Pride Festival, organized by the non-profit Gay and Lesbian Services Organization, is in its fifth year in downtown Lexington. Brown said 10,000 people are expected to attend, and about 200 volunteers are being trained to help.
In addition to the standard festival food, drink and entertainment — including The Reel World String Band, drag shows and singer Beth Burden — the event focuses on increasing education and understanding.
There had been a Pride Picnic for decades, but it was held on a private farm. Moving the event to a more visible location goes with the educational mission. There will be an estimated 70 booths, including some promoting community groups and churches.
"The goal is to educate the community and be a resource," he said.
Earlier this year, festival organizers made news when they filed a complaint with the city's Human Rights Commission, alleging that local T-shirt printer Hands On Originals violated the city's fairness ordinance by refusing to print the festival T-shirts. The complaint is being investigated.
Brown said filing the complaint was, in a way, an extension of the festival's mission.
"I think it opened up community dialogue," he said. "There was a huge section of the community that didn't know we have a fairness ordinance," a city regulation created in 1999 that protects against discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
There were some anonymous online postings calling for a protest of the Pride Festival, but Brown said he knows of no plans for one. As always, he said, police will be on hand for security, and organizers have a contingency plan in case of trouble.
He said he hopes the focus can remain on a community celebration. He said one of his favorite parts of the day is called "Faces of Pride," a short break in entertainment that offers a chance for people in the audience to go on stage and say their name to applause from the crowd, publicly proclaiming themselves a "face of pride."
Brown said people always seem a little reluctant to get onstage, but he has never seen anybody refuse. "It's great to see."
Mary Meehan: (859) 231-3261. Twitter: @bgmoms. Blog: Bluegrassmoms.com.