Record Breaking Numbers at the 2017 Boston Pride Parade and Festival
(Boston, MA) – June 16, 2017 – Boston Pride announced today that the 47th annual Pride Parade and Festival, which took place June 2 to 11, included a record breaking number of groups and individuals marching in the parade. This year’s parade consisted of over 45,000 marchers from 331 contingents with over 550,000 spectators. An estimated 125,000 individuals attended in the Pride Festival at City Hall plaza. New this year, Boston Pride created a Solidarity category to encourage small nonprofits to join the Parade and the Festival with a discounted fee. The Solidarity groups made up about 22 percent of the total groups participating in the parade, with nonprofit organizations making up almost 70 percent of the parade.
Among the groups marching were 29 survivors of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting, who commemorated the year anniversary since the tragedy. As a special honor to the victims and survivors of the Pulse shooting, trans* activist Renee Manning built a float and invited 1,000 people to dance along the parade route as part of a Grand Dance remembering those who were killed. Survivors of the massacre elected to join Manning and traveled the parade route on the float.
“The parade and festival were both enormously successful, but as importantly, they were historic,” said Sylvain Bruni, President of Boston Pride. “It was particularly gratifying to march alongside the survivors of the Pulse tragedy, several of whom spoke about how welcoming the city of Boston was. Celebrating with our community through tragedy and triumph is what Boston Pride is all about.”
This year’s theme, “Stronger Together,” focused on the current climate of political uncertainty and marginalization of LGBTQ people. It stressed the imperative that the diverse groups that comprise the LGBTQ community stand together and fight for civil rights for all.
“We want to thank our volunteers, community partners, sponsors, the City of Boston and all participants for making this our biggest Pride yet,” said Bruni. “With the Trump administration instilling fear in the LGBTQ community and other allied communities, it is more important than ever that we come together to stand up for our rights and our dignity. We are in fact stronger together.” The Stronger Together Rally, which was organized in solidarity with the Global Equality March for Unity and Pride of Washington, D.C., took place on Sunday, June 11. The speaking program included Mayor Martin Walsh, Attorney General Maura Healey, Representative Elizabeth Malia, Boston City Counselor Ayanna Pressley, community leaders, grassroots organizers, LGBTQ activists and Carmen Carrera, a Latina trans* activist, model and actress who offered her support to the local LGBTQ community.
“Boston Pride is grateful to all of those individuals who participated in the Stronger Together rally, particularly Carmen Carrera, who traveled a long way to offer inspiration and a message of hope to the community,” said Bruni.
Boston Pride also acknowledged the participation of the Parade Grand Marshal Kristen Porter, families of the Parade Honorary Marshals Norman Hill, Dr. Judy Bradford and John Michael Gray, friends of Boston Pride, the Boston Pride Advisory Council, the organizations that marched in the parade and were represented at the festival and the community from Boston and beyond.
Boston Pride is an all-volunteer organizations and will be seeking volunteers for next year’s Pride celebrations. Notices about meetings and volunteer opportunities can be found on the Boston Pride website.