Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gay Pride Parade and Festival

More than 80 non-profits, local businesses, faith groups, and community organizations are set to participate in the first annual North Shore Pride Parade and Festival on Saturday, June 30, in Salem. All are welcome to attend this day-long event celebrating unity in the community.
Local news anchor and longtime LGBT activist Randy Price is the Grand Marshal of the parade, which kicks off at noon in front of the Salem Post office on Margin Street. Other special guests include openly-gay Boston sportswriter Steve Buckley, Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, and members of the North Shore Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth (NAGLY), who will receive the first annual North Shore Pride Community Award.

Following the parade, the community will gather on the Salem Common for a festival where organizations and vendors will provide information, networking and shopping throughout the day. On stage, performers will keep the crowd entertained all afternoon, including R&B singer (and recent Boston Pride Idol contestant) Rolla, acoustic pop act Seth Wonkka and his band, folk singer Deb Hardy, theatrical cabaret group What Time is It Mr. Fox?, and the world's only all-female Queen tribute band Gunpowder Gelatine.

Vaudeville performer Johnny Blazes will MC, as well as perform with his band Johnny Blazes and the Pretty Boys. The music will be punctuated by drag performances, hoop dancers, and remarks from special guests, including a representative from the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition explaining the state's recently-enacted gender identity non-discrimination law, and special recognition of the career-long LGBT advocacy of Congressman Barney Frank.
Revelers are invited to attend a free after-party with DJ Jodi at the Hawthorne Hotel following the festival.

North Shore Pride, Inc., an all-volunteer organization, is planning the day-long event to bring together and celebrate the LGBT community from across the north shore region.

10 a.m. Interfaith church service on the Salem Common.
12 p.m. Parade kicks off in front of the Salem Post Office.
1 - 5 p.m. Parade Festival on the Salem Common.
5:30 p.m. After-party at the Hawthorne Hotel (free admission, cash bar).

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