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LGBTQ+-owned Hotel Helps Organize First Pride Event in Indiana City’s History


As cities across the nation celebrate the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month, the historic city of Madison in southern Indiana hosted its first-ever public Pride event. On June 8, over 400 supporters gathered at the Lanier Mansion along the Ohio River for the inaugural celebration, emphasizing downtown Madison’s dedication to fostering an inclusive and welcoming community for all.


This landmark event was spearheaded by Larry Ricci, founder of Madison’s Rainbow River Club, a coalition of Madison businesses and citizens allied with the queer community. Matt and Daniel Chandler, proprietors of the LGBTQ+-owned Chandler Hotel, collaborated with Ricci and a team of volunteers—in partnership with Friends of Lanier Mansion—to bring this vision to life.


The event featured a DJ, live entertainment, LGBTQ+ resources, vendors and food trucks, creating a vibrant and supportive atmosphere for all attendees.


As a major contributor to downtown Madison’s recent revitalization efforts, The Chandler Hotel has been spearheading initiatives to champion their community as a place of inclusivity and equality.


“We are beyond proud of the turnout and support this event received from local businesses, government officials, and members of our community,” said Chandler. “Events like these aren't just about celebrating Pride Month; they reaffirm the progress we’ve made to create a welcoming environment for everyone not just in Madison, but throughout southern Indiana.”


The Chandler Hotel’s dedication to LGBTQ+ initiatives extends beyond this event. They partnered with the Madison Main Street Program—winner of the 2024 Great American Main Street Award—and Visit Madison Indiana to elevate queer voices in the community. One of the first projects undertaken by this partnership included Main Street Pride, an initiative started in 2023 to encourage local businesses and residents to publicly signify their support of the LGBTQ+ community through window decals. The initial batch of decals quickly sold out, prompting an additional order to meet the high demand.


Additionally, the Chandlers collaborated on a "Pride" blog with Visit Madison Indiana to help further amplify queer voices and stories. “There is so much charm and romance to be found in Madison. It’s a city whose foundation is love, positivity and community, and we want it to be known that it’s a city for everyone,” emphasized Chandler. “As a lifelong resident of the area, nothing could make me happier than to continue to build on this momentum so that our city is seen as a beacon of acceptance and inclusion.”


The Chandler Hotel and the Madison Main Street Program are already planning more community events and initiatives to support and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. For more information on upcoming events, please visit The Chandler Collection’s Facebook page.


For more information on The Chandler Hotel or to book a stay, visit www.TheChandlerHotel.com.

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