Record number of marchers, attendees and highlights from 2019 Boston Pride Week
(Photo by Marissa Sullivan for Boston Pride)
This year’s 49th Boston Pride Parade and Festival set new records. The Boston Pride parade included a record-breaking 431 contingents and over 50,000 marchers who marched along the 2.27-mile route from Copley Square to City Hall Plaza lined with an estimated 1-million spectators. The Pride Festival at City Hall Plaza was filled with activity all day long including 130 vendors, a Family Fun Zone and headline entertainers Todrick Hall, Robin S. and Beth Sacks who drew huge crowds.
One of the highlights of this year’s Pride Parade were the two large flags that will also be appearing in World Pride in New York City on June 29. The Unity Flag, a patchwork quilt flag that represents intersectionality and unity in the LGBTQ community, and the River of Pride Flag, a quarter-mile long rainbow flag both ended the Pride Parade.
“This year’s parade was both a celebration and a reflection of this year’s theme – Looking Back, Loving Forward –a recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and the challenges and victories our community has faced over the years,” said Linda DeMarco, President of Boston Pride. “We are wicked proud for all the support from our community and allies to help make this year’s parade one for the record books with one-million attendees and more contingents than we have ever had.”
Another highlight was two Stonewall veterans, Charles Evans and Paul Glass of Falmouth, Mass., who joined Grand Marshal Dale Mitchell during the parade. Mitchell, Evans and Glass are all veterans of the Stonewall Inn Uprising in 1969 in Greenwich Village as they witnessed the aftermath of the raid on Stonewall and the clashes with patrons and police officers. Stonewall is widely acknowledged as a defining event in the U.S. LGBTQ movement.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh kicked-off the parade on Saturday, June 8th with a ribbon-cutting featuring Boston Pride Committee members.
(Photo by Jason McGorty for Boston Pride)
Pride Week included more than 50 events throughout the community, which started with the annual Rainbow Pride Flag Raising on City Hall Plaza, followed by Pride Day @ Faneuil Hall and the High Heel Dash for Charity, the Stonewall50 Community Forum where a panel discussed the significance of the Stonewall riots in 1969, Pride Lights honoring victims of HIV/AIDS, block parties in the Back Bay and Jamaica Plain and ended with Pride Night @ Fenway where the Red Sox donated 100 tickets to Pride youth groups.
Pride Sponsors helped to fund costs associated with the parade, festival and other free public events, and 10 percent of all sponsorships are dedicated to the Boston Pride Community Fund, which supports grassroots LGBTQ organizations. This year, Boston Pride distributed a record amount of over $46,000 to 24 grassroots organizations. Since 2016, Boston Pride has awarded almost $100,000 to 60 local grassroots organizations, supporting the mission of promoting social justice for the LGBTQ community.
Boston Pride’s Official Broadcast Partner NBC10 Boston, Telemundo Boston and NECN helped spread awareness of Pride Week through special programming, news stories, live coverage and interviews, moderating events.
Boston Pride is sending a contingent of representatives to World Pride in New York City for the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising on June 28 to 30. In addition to her duties as Boston Pride President, Linda DeMarco is co-president of InterPride, the organization responsible for licensing WorldPride.