2017 Year in Review from Boston Pride

Celebrating Record Breaking Numbers at the 2017 Parade and Festival

Thanks the Community for Its Ongoing Support of the LGBTQ Community Heading into 2018

(Boston, MA) – December 4, 2017 – As 2017 ends, Boston Pride is celebrating a record-breaking year for the Boston Pride Parade and Festival and is thanking those who continue to show their support for the LGBTQ community as we enter into a new year. The 47th annual Pride Parade and Festival, which took place June 2 to 11, 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. 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 joined Manning and traveled the parade route on the float.

“In a year that has been so challenging for our community and beyond, it was gratifying to see that so many people made a point of supporting our community at the parade and festival,” said Sylvain Bruni, President of Boston Pride. “We want to thank those individuals, as well as the many partners and sponsors who help us to put on a parade and festival that is safe, joyous, and celebratory.”

In addition to a successful parade and festival, Boston Pride also saw tremendous growth in its social media and digital presence. During the two day period that included the parade, festival and block parties, Boston Pride reached close to 55,000 people on Facebook. From June 1st to the 11th, the organization reached more than 140,000 people in total. During the month of June, Boston Pride also reached 179,000 impressions on Twitter and during the 9-day Pride Week, had almost 7,000 engagements on Instagram.

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. In October 2017, Boston Pride announced the parade award winners at its Fall Open House. They included:

  • Best Marching Group (2 winners)
    • Lasell Village Pride
    • New England Home for Little Wanderers
  • Best Float
    • Island Pride
  • Best Youth Group
    • Medford High School Gay Straight Alliance
  • Best Use of 2017 Theme “Stronger Together”
    • Project Pride
  • Best Parade First-Timers
    • Vertex

For the first time ever, Boston Pride partnered with a major Boston television network, NBC Boston that created special programming and promotions throughout Pride Week. As the official television sponsor of Boston Pride, NBC Boston and NECN broadcast stories about the LGBTQ community and about the history of the organization, in addition to reporting on the Parade, Festival and Stronger Together rally and other events.

“2017 was truly a special year for Boston Pride as we had our first major television partner, NBC Boston, which allowed us to bring a piece of Pride to millions of viewers, creating visibility of the LGBTQ community in places where we have not been seen before,” said Bruni.

See links to NBC Boston stories during Pride Week:

During the 2017 Parade, Grand Marshal Kristen Porter and the families of the Parade Honorary Marshals Norman Hill, Dr. Judy Bradford and John Michael Gray, marched and were honored. “We know that there will be even more work we need to do in 2018 to protect the rights of our community and to celebrate who we are as individuals. We appreciate so much the organizations, individuals, corporations, and institutions that help to make Boston Pride possible.”