Queens Pride will celebrate the 20th Pride Parade and Multicultural Festival on Sunday, June 3 with a host of activities to promote pride among and for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) community of Queens and beyond.
The 37th Avenue route of the Parade and Multicultural Festival is a new edition to Queens Pride this year.
The theme, “A Generation of Pride in Queens,” acknowledges the 20 years of leadership and advocacy that advanced the causes of the LGBTQ community.
This year’s Grand Marshals are the Family of Julio Rivera, the young man whose murder in 1990 led to the founding of the Parade, and Queens Center for Gay Seniors (formerly SAGE Queens).
“Our Grand Marshals reflect the difficult struggles that the LGBTQ community has faced and the need to remain supportive and vigilant to advance our efforts,” said Chris Calvert, co-chair, Queens Pride.
Assisting with the parade this year will be the Pride Posse, consisting of members of high school Gay Student Alliances and other student advocacy organizations.
“The Pride Posse represents the new generation of the LGBTQ community who will carry forth our causes well into the future,” said Calvert.
A special contingent this year will be members of the Broadway cast of Wicked.
The Parade will kick-off at 12 p.m. at 84th Street and 37th Avenue, ending at 75th Street.
Marcus Woolen and Candy Samples will host a reviewing stand in front of the Jackson Heights Post Office, where the Queenie Awards are judged.
The awards honor the ingenuity and enthusiasm of groups in their demonstration of LGBTQ pride and the theme of this year’s event.
The festival will begin at 11 a.m. with nearly 100 vendors along 37th Road and 75th Street. Two stages will feature entertainment throughout the day. The festival will cap off with a performance by Martha Wash, who is marking the 30th Anniversary of the Weathergirls smash hit, “It’s Raining Men.”
Queens Pride is also collaborating on a number of events to surround the parade and festival. On Thursday, May 31st, Queens Pride, New York Pride, and Councilmembers Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer will help kick-off pride with a party at Studio Square in Long Island City, at 35-33 36th Street. The party will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with drink specials and entertainment throughout the evening.
In partnership with Barefoot Wine and Bubbly and Out Astoria, Novo Restaurant and Lounge, at 78-23 37th Avenue, will host the Barefoot Brunch on Sunday, June 3rd. The brunch will last from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will offer pride spectators an opportunity to cool off with Barefoot Bubbly cocktails. Proceeds from the event will benefit Queens Pride and Out Astoria.
On Sunday, June 3rd, there will be a special screening of Julio of Jackson Heights, by documentary filmmaker and photographer Richard Shpuntoff, who documented Queens Pride since its beginnings. The film tells the tale of how the LGBTQ population of Jackson Heights came together in response to the 1990 gay bashing murder of Julio Rivera in the P.S. 69 schoolyard. The screening will begin at 7 p.m. at Renaissance Charter School, at 35-59 81st Street, Jackson Heights.
For complete information on Queens Pride, visit Queenspride.org or email Info@queenspride.org.