“All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.” -Harvey Milk
June is Pride Month, an entire month dedicated to the uplifting of LGBTQ voices, celebration of LGBTQ culture and LGBTQ rights. Granite Staters from all over the state have been coming together and celebrating the freedom to be themselves, and one particular event is hoping to continue the authentic, joyful celebration.
On June 11, Queen City Pride in Manchester is kicking off Pride Week with Ladies Night at StrangeBrew including live music, a DJ and pole dancer, Andrew Alvarado, and throughout the week there will be other events in safe space locations around Manchester like brunch, drag performances, dancing and more. All events lead up to the big finale, the Pride Festival and Parade on June 18.
“Our first annual parade features over 40 groups marching along South Commercial Street, led by Grand Marshall Mayor Joyce Craig,” says Queen City Pride Executive Director Kyle Davis. “We’ll have marching bands, roller derby skaters, sponsor groups, drag queen and motorcycle riders. There is truly something for everyone. For the festival, we have doubled the size this year and are proud to host over 130 local vendors, 12 food trucks, a beer garden, two stages with DJ block party and drag shows, and an artist alley with 25 local queer artists. There is also a youth area featuring hands-on crafts, FIRST robotics demonstrations, Thrive Outdoors activities and the Boy Scouts mobile archery/BB gun range.”
The parade starts at 10 a.m. on South Commercial Street and will continue past Arms Park until the end at Canal Street. The real party begins after the parade at 12 p.m. at Arms Park where the festival will kick off with an abundance of food, fun, friends and family. While Davis is excited for the day’s events, it’s the local community support that has garnered up the most excitement.
“Personally, I’m most excited about the level of support we have received from the local businesses, as well as developing community partnerships with local institutions and sponsors,” says Davis. “Creating partnerships has been a personal goal for the organization, as it will help us follow through on our mission to provide year round programming. The major difference this year from years past is that it is twice the size, twice the fun, the twice the involvement. Otherwise, we’re still a grassroots community group highlighting local resources, businesses and supporters.”
As a whole, the event welcomes and supports all people of different shapes, sizes, colors and identity.
“It’s a place where you can come be you,” says Davis. “Our theme ‘Come Out With Us’ is focused on encouraging people to socialize after the pandemic, introduce the world to who you are or want to be. Come Out With Us to be proud, supported and loved. Come Out With Us to share your story and be part of the biggest Pride Celebration in New Hampshire.”
More information about Queen City Pride such as timing and tickets can be found here. New Hampshire Magazine is a proud sponsor of this event.
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