An LGBTQ pride flag flies at the Pennsylvania Capitol in June 2020.
Pride Month celebrations return to in-person events in central Pennsylvania
For the last two years, many LGBTQ Pride celebrations in central Pennsylvania have been canceled or held online because of the coronavirus pandemic. This summer, LGBTQ organizations are gearing up for in-person celebrations.
Pride Month was created to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City, which ignited a larger fight for LGBTQ rights in the United States.
Here are some Pride celebrations happening in the midstate:
The Pride Festival of Central PA will be at Harrisburg’s Emergency Responders Plaza near the State Capitol on July 30 starting at 11 a.m.
Eric Selvey, president of the festival, says it aims to be a safe environment for people of the LGBTQ community of all ages.
“It feels fantastic because everyone looks forward to the Pride festival in Harrisburg. It’s almost like our Christmas Day,” he said. “It’s a wonderful day to come together, not only members of the LGBTQ+ community, but also our allies.”
The main stage will feature singer-songwriter Brandon Parsons and a main drag show performance by a RuPaul drag queen. There will be food trucks and LGBTQ centers running resource tables.
Carlisle Pride Week kicks off July 11 with a Carlisle Pride Proclamation by Mayor Sean Schultz at Borough Hall. There will be a flag-raising ceremony to signify the start of Pride 2022. Afterward, there will be a “Gay Ol’ Walk” from Borough Hall to Biddle Park, and then a resource fair. There will be more events daily through June 19, including a performance by Ariel Versace, season 11 RuPaul Drag Race contestant, on that day.
New Cumberland Pride is July 23 at new Cumberland Borough Park. It will feature a picnic, family activities, food trucks and LGBTQ resources.
Pride in Lancaster started June 1 with a flag-raising ceremony. Lancaster Pride Festival 2022 returns in-person June 18 at the Clipper Magazine Stadium. The event will include over 150 vendors and musical performances. Ariel Versace will be the headlining drag performer.
On June 11 at noon, Lancaster Pride is hosting the Lancaster Pride Pet Parade, which will feature prizes. There will be adoptable pets from local shelters.
Lititz Chooses Love, an LGBTQ resource center, is hosting its own joint LGBTQ Pride and Juneteenth event at Lititz Springs Park. It will feature live performances, yoga, queer art, health information and a history exhibition on Black transgender activists.
“There’s so much intersectionality we shouldn’t be sectioning ourselves off, and we are one huge movement,” said Parker Webb, founder of Lititz Chooses Love.
York County Pride was previously known as Equality Day. This year, Rainbow Rose Center is hosting its first ever York County Pride event at Cousler Park. There will be a main stage overlooking a lake in the park, as well as a family stage.
“We have headliners including local acts, Krystal Younglove, The Indestructible Lady, as well as Fierce, and a whole bunch of different poets, drag performers and some fire spinners as well,” said Tesla Taliaferro, the Rainbow Rose Center’s president.
There will also be Paint Night at Union!, an art event at Union Lutheran Church
After celebrating its first pride event last summer, Lebanon’s Got Pride is back for a second year on June 12 with more vendors and performances. The block party event is hosted by music venue ScottChurch’s “The Church” and will include live music, drag shows, food trucks and games.
Correction: Rainbow Rose Center’s name was incorrect in the original version of this story.