After a three-year absence, Philadelphia will have an in-person Pride event on June 5, starting with a march and followed by a festival in the Gayborhood. The PHL Pride March, which is being produced by Philly Dyke March and PHL Pride Collective, will begin at 11:00 a.m. in front of the Constitution Center on 5th and Arch Streets. Immediately following the march will be the PHL Pride Festival at 12:00 p.m. in the Gayborhood.
In recognition of the first Philadelphia Pride in 1972, the theme for this year’s Pride is “PHL Pride 50: Our Community, Our Joy.”
“50 years after the city’s first Pride, there is still much work to be done for the LGBTQ+ community,” PHL Pride Collective said in a press release. “This year’s theme is centered around celebrating how far we’ve come, claiming and reclaiming community spaces, and happiness. PHL Pride Collective hopes that you will be part of this year’s celebration of pride, love, community, and joy.”
Along the route of the march will be three stops: a land acknowledgement honoring the Lenni Lanape people, a moment to uplift people of color and trans folks, and a tribute to LGBTQ+ elders and youth. The final stop will be at the former site of the Gloria Casarez mural on 12th St.
The Pride festival, beginning at noon in the Gayborhood, will be free of charge and will include several stages for entertainment, community organizations and local businesses at tables, as well as areas including: a youth and family programming space with age-appropriate programming; a “Food Truck Way” featuring diverse and accessibly priced meal options; a “Relaxation Zone” for elders, people with disabilities and others seeking a calmer space with seating, accessible bathrooms, a cooling station, and low acoustic music; “Kiki Alley,” a space that will spotlight the past and present of the Philadelphia ballroom community; and a dedicated Sober Space and dry bar for adults.
The festival will include medical services provided by Bebashi and Mazzoni Center, as well as other services including trained private security, de-escalation specialists, mental wellness services, and social workers. All services will be on site in collaboration with local organizations.
“We’ve been working hard over the last four months to make sure we’ve dotted every i crossed every t,” a representative of PHL Pride Collective told PGN. “Everything we’re doing is with thoughtfulness, intention, and care to create a space that everyone can enjoy.”
The representative also said that Mainline Private Security, whose employees have been involved in numerous incidents with Gayborhood patrons, will not be involved in any of the Pride festivities.
Mechelle Saab, deputy director of operations for the Philadelphia Office of Special Events, told PGN that street closure permits have been approved and that meetings with PHL Pride Collective and city officials have been “very productive.” In addition, the mayor’s office expressed excitement about the upcoming Pride event.
“Philadelphia celebrates its diversity, and we are proud to stand with our LGBTQ communities and residents,” said Irene Contreras Reyes, Deputy Communications Director for Mayor Kenney. “We, as a City, look forward to this event and all the other amazing events happening in Philadelphia — especially after the last couple of years when most events were virtual or canceled. By supporting things like Pride, Odunde, and Juneteenth, we are telling Philadelphia’s story and what makes our city truly special.”
Along with the march and festival on June 5, PHL Pride Collective announced that there will be additional community events throughout the weekend, starting on June 3.
“As PHL Pride Collective’s first Pride, this year’s festivities may look different from previous Prides as the community looks forward to honoring Philadelphia’s activist’s past and present, celebrating what has been built together, and uplifting community joy. PHL Pride Collective is partnering to promote community events throughout the entire weekend in addition to PHL Pride Collective’s Pride March and Pride Festival, taking place on Sunday, June 5th, 2022.”
For those interested in participating in Pride events, please visit links for the PHL Pride Collective Vendor Application; Food Truck Application; or Volunteer Signup form.