Twenty-five years ago, LGBT history in Allentown was made as the first Pride Festival was organized in the city. Since then, the festival has grown tremendously and this year’s celebration, which marks the 25th anniversary of Pride in the Park, is expected to have over 4,000 people.
This year’s festival will be taking place on August 19, from noon - 6 p.m., at the JCC of the Lehigh Valley (a changed location due to flooding in Cedar Beach Park). The producers of the festival, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, have brought together more than 150 different non-profit community resources, retailers, activist organizations, LGBT-welcoming faith communities, artists, and food vendors in order to make this 25th year memorable.
This year's Pride in the Park festivities will include a wide range of activities resulting in something for everyone, including an artist promenade that features local LGBT artists and crafters, a Pride Pub that has a wine menu sponsored by Barefoot Wine, beer sponsored by Fegley’s Brew Works, and The Colony Meadery sponsoring the festival’s mead selection, and drag shows featuring both excellent local and nationally known drag queens like this year’s headliner, Vanessa “Vanjie” Mateo, Alexis Mateo, Jelitza Fearce, and Elekra Fearce.
The festival will also be having a number of talented musical guests such as Interminable, Bobby Jo Valentine, Lehigh Valley Gay Men’s Chorus, and Philadelphia Freedom Marching Band.
Food for the festival will be provided through food trucks that are provided by the Allentown Farmers Market, Bananarama, Sweet Girlz Bakery, and Perk Up Coffee.
Through their efforts to increase accessibility and ensure a safe and exciting place for people all ages, Pride in the Park will be having a Kids and Teen Space as well as a Bingo station.
Pride in the Park’s planning committee has worked tirelessly to make this year’s festival a space where people of all backgrounds can feel welcome, supported, and safe, as well as a place where people can grab a delicious snack, a refreshing glass of wine, beer, or mead, see quality entertainment and performances, and can pick up some rainbow merchandise to show their pride!
Learn more about this year's event here.
Contributed by Dget Downey of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center.