Pride Night Kicks Off Huge Final Weekend At The Birdcage

Posted: 9/1/2020

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- In an unprecedented partnership between a South Dakota sports organization and the LGBTQ2S+ community, the Sioux Falls Canaries will host Sioux Falls Pride Night on Friday, Sept. 4 at the Birdcage, with the final All-Star Fireworks show of the season to follow.

The event will coincide with the Birds' 7:05 p.m. baseball game against the Chicago Dogs and is the first "pride" event involving a sports team at any level in the state. It also leads off a critical homestand -- the Canaries' final three home games of the regular season -- as the Birds aim to maintain their position as contenders for the American Association's regular season title and qualifiers for the two-team American Association championship series. Saturday will mark "One Sioux Falls Night presented by Sioux Falls Golf," while Sunday's finale is "Kids Night." 

Sponsored by the Sioux Falls Pride organization, Pride Night is aimed to fill the void of June's Sioux Falls Pride parade and festival, which was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tickets can be purchased at a special reduced priced of $10 via this link. 

"For all the fun and creative promotional theme nights we have ever done, this one will be one of the most important," Canaries general manager Duell Higbe said.  

"Pride Night goes beyond providing entertainment to supplement fans' enjoyment of a baseball game. It is the Canaries' message to the LGBTQ2S+ people in the Sioux Falls area that we not only do we support them, but we want to make The Birdcage a venue for the community and its allies to entertain, to feel safe and included, and to celebrate the growing support the city has for it in a clean, family friendly, and socially considerate environment."

Activities during the event will include the unveiling of the new Sioux Falls Pride president, who will throw out the ceremonial first pitch, a drag performance by local artist Alassandra Jacobs, and a compelling speech from local LGBTQ2S+ activist Holli Finch. Plus, the usual entertainment experienced between innings at Canaries games -- Cagey the Bird's constant amusing presence, a kids ice cream eating contest, a spin-the-bat race, Neil Diamond's nephew Doug singing "Sweet Caroline," Harry Canary bellowing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th Inning Stretch, and "YMCA" and "Cotton Eyed Joe" fan participation dances.

Local businesses, churches, and other organizations which had planned to march in June's downtown Pride parade are encouraged to turn out and will be recognized during the game in an opportunity to show their support to LGBTQ2S+ community. These groups will be recognized during the game.

"We're so excited to be working with the Canaries to bring Pride Night 2020 to Sioux Falls!," Sioux Falls Pride board member and marketing director Rachel Pohland said. "Even though we weren't able to hold the parade and Pride in the Park this year, we want to safely gather with our LGBTQ2S+ family and this is the perfect opportunity to come out and celebrate with us."

In a promotional video released on Friday, several Canaries players and manager Mike Meyer looked into the camera and said, "I support you," including catcher Roy Morales and infielder Alay Lago, who together uttered the phrase, "We Support You," in Spanish. The end of the video features 10 of the players and Meyer saying "We Support You," while holding a rainbow Pride flag.

"The Canaries want to help make the city a more inclusive place," Meyer said. "That's why on Pride Night, we encourage the LGBTQ(2S+) community to join us for some baseball in a safe, socially distanced environment and to feel the love from the community you would have felt in the Pride parade. So, let's get together. Come support us because we support you."  

Golf Night on Saturday, Kids Night on Sunday

Saturday's 6:05 game marks One Sioux Falls Night presented by Sioux Falls Golf, with a $12 online ticket offer and proceeds from every sale from that offer going to the One Sioux Falls fund. There will be a special jersey raffle, and fans will have plenty of chances to win free golf at the three Sioux Falls Golf courses in random drawings, including a putting game on top of the dugout and a "Closest to Cagey" pitching contest from the field. 

Sunday's 5:05 home finale is also Kids Night presented by Sioux Empire Federal Credit Union, with a "Playoff Push" online ticket package: Fans will receive two Hall of Fame bobbleheads with the purchase of one $15 ticket through this special online offer. The Canaries are offering special reduced rates on luxury and party decks, while supplies last. For more information, call the Canaries box office at (605) 336-6060. Children 12 and under will have an opportunity to run the bases and play catch with their families on the field after the game.     

Covid Prevention and Social Consideration Measures at the Birdcage

In June, the Sioux Falls Canaries were chosen as one of three initial teams in the American Association to host games with fans in attendance in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. The team enacted several protocols and publicly released a Covid-19 Readiness Plan prior to the season opener on July 3, and shortly after the opener enhanced its efforts to make all patrons feel safe from virus spread.

These measures include, but are not limited to: Prohibiting half of the seats in the 4,500-seat stadium to be occupied by roping off every other row and aisle; requiring all staff to wear face coverings while encouraging (but not requiring) all fans to do the same; constant cleaning and sanitizing of the facility; installing hand sanitizers abundantly throughout the grandstands, the underneath concourse, and concession stands; establishing "6 foot" markers on the ground in typically high-traffic areas like the ticket office window, gate entrance, and concession areas to remind people to socially distance; preventing larges bundles of people in concession areas by making available the "FanFood" phone app for fans to order concessions from their seats and be notified via their phone when their order is ready; and constant video and public address system announcements reminding fans of these protocols and to be "socially considerate" of one another, including the covering of face when coughing or sneezing. Fans are also made aware they can address any safety and health concerns with Birdcage staff and Canaries management at any time and will be accommodated, within reason.   

In over 30 games played, zero cases of coronavirus have been traced back to a Canaries game. Players and staff are tested regularly.  

For the team's official, specific Covid-19 Readiness Plan, click on this link >>  http://sfcanaries.com/press-box/news/canaries-announce-covid-19-readiness-plan/