Pride returns to PVD this June 15 and it promises to be more energetic than ever! The theme of this year’s celebration of the LGBTQ community is Live Your Truth.
“The Live Your Truth theme for 2019 reflects what’s at the heart of Pride: an opportunity to be exactly who you are, out in the open,” explained Joe Lazzerini, president of RI Pride. “The Live Your Truth theme simultaneously celebrates the numerous different genders, skin colors, sexual orientations, ages, races, religions, physical and mental abilities, national origins, and ethnicities (among many other factors) that make each of us who we are.”
The main event, the street carnival Pride Fest, is being billed as the biggest yet, with more than 200 food, beer and craft vendors set to descend on the city’s downtown for an unrivalled celebration of love, art and equality.
A rally and speaking program will take place at 3pm commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall. The main stage will be hosted by local celebrity Lulu Locks, comedian John Kelley and local drag performers Annie B. Frank, Kira Stone and Complete Destruction. The stage will feature New England based gay dance party guru DJ Ephraim Adamz.
The mainstage will feature headlining acts Alaska 5000 and Adore Delano from “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” Season 2 and Monique Heart and Jasmine Masters from “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” Season 4 alongside popular drag king Spikey Van Dykey. From New York City, Brian Faltudo, best known from his role in School of Rock will grace the stage performing songs off of his new album.
Local high energy dance rock acts Jodi Jolt and The Volt and the Mary Day Band will also appear on the main stage along with other acts representing various genres and local performers.
And stick around, because when the sun goes down, New England’s only illuminated nighttime Pride parade will dazzle onlookers with a pageant of floats, marching groups and performing artists. The parade begins on Dorrance Street and continues down Washington Street, then Empire street and ends on Weybosset Street. A new accessible viewing area will be set up at the corner of Empire and Weybosset Street for anyone with wheelchairs or who would like a place to sit.
One of The Parade Grand Marshals is Justice Ameer Gaines, a well-known community organizer, activist and accomplished poet who self-identifies as a black trans woman and gender fluid. She currently serves as the Queer Justice Coordinator for Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM). Also serving as a Grand Marshal is the Providence Student Union, a non-profit group of high school student chapters that work to raise up student voices and give young people the chance to shape their schools and futures.
The Honorary Parade Marshals are Chris Harris, who was an award-winning event producer, premier concert promoter, accomplished business owner and community organizer, and Belle Pellegrino. In 1976, Pellegrino helped lead the fight for the first Pride Parade to take place in PVD as part of the original 76ers. When the city denied the permits, she fought back — in court — and won. Pellegrino was involved with many community organizations, volunteered as an EMT, served as a pastor and Emperor 16 and 24 of the Imperial Court of Rhode Island.
Concerned about getting the post-Pride blues? Worry not, because The Official Rhode Island Pride Drag Brunch will be held at The Graduate Providence on Sunday, June 16 from 11am. Email reservations requests to DragBrunch@PrideRI.com.
Four locations featuring local LGBTQ artists will be open to the public free of charge for the month of June. The gallery space at 2 Charles St features a Hall of Flags in addition to the artwork. Works can be viewed in the City Services office at Providence City Hall, the main corridors at the Providence Marriott Downtown on Orms Street and Sprout CoWorking Gallery at Rising Sun Mill on Valley St. A special “Gayllery Night” Tour will take place on June 20, complete with trolleys.
For more information about Pride, visit prideri.org