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Pride Month in West Hartford Will Begin June 1 with a Month of Celebration

West Hartford Pride 2022. Photo Credit: Sophie Christensen (we-ha.com file photo)

The fourth annual Pride Month in West Hartford will begin with a flag raising on Unity Green and end with a festival and drag brunch.

By Ronni Newton

Pride Month in West Hartford returns beginning June 1, 2023, and will be all in person and bigger and better than ever this year with a series of events that beings with a flag raising, includes entertaining and educational programs, and culminates with both a rally and festival as well as a drag brunch on the last weekend of the month.

“This year’s Pride month of activities and events are going to be amazing,” said co-chair Barry Walters. “The Planning Committee has worked hard to bring a diverse assortment of entertainment and activities to West Hartford. This year, the Festival has moved to Town Hall. This will give us more room for moree vendors, food trucks, a comfort tent, and more. With the fantastic support of the community, we think this will be the best Pride to date.”

Walters co-chairs West Hartford Pride with Johanna Schubert, and both are proud of the evolution of the organization –  now a 501(c)(3) – and the celebration, which is much “more than a party.” In line with its mission, “West Hartford Pride hosts activities and events designed to provide education, provide opportunity, and a platform to uplift marginalized voices.”

Johanna Schubert (left) and Barry Walters are co-chairs of the West Hartford Pride Planning Committee. Pride flag raising on Unity Green in West Hartford Center. June 1, 2022. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

The flag raising is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 1, and the rainbow flag – which also includes the colors pink, black, and brown, and the intersex symbol – will fly over Unity Green in West Hartford Center for the month of June, visibly and publicly signifying West Hartford’s support of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Other events planned for the month include a “Hard at Work” concert by the Connecticut Gay Men’s Chorus on Sunday, June 4 at Conard High School. Tickets for the approximately 90-minute show are $33 and available online. There is also a run/walk that starts at Fleet Feet Sports on June 14 and a comedy show at New Park Brewing on June 16. The most up-to-date schedule can be found on the website westhartfordpride.org.

Pride Month will culminate the last weekend of June with two major events – a rally and festival on Saturday, June 24, and the “Caffeine Queens Drag Brunch” on Sunday, June 25.

The rally will being at 11 a.m. on the steps of the West Hartford Town Hall Auditorium, and will feature speeches and calls to action by community activists and local and state elected officials.

According to organizers, at the conclusion of the rally, the Hartford Proud Drill, Drum and Dance Corp will lead the crowd around the building to the parking lot, where the family-friendly festival is set to begin at noon. The festival has been relocated from the courtyard at Blue Back Square where it has been held the past two years to better accommodate the large crowd.

Walters said the festival line-up will feature drag performances and music by Brian Falduto (country), Zoe Lewis, Carrie Ashton, Sister Funk, and J.Santino. The entertainment will wrap up with a Tea Dance.

“The Festival host will be a surprise! Hint: A RuGirl from Rupaul’s Drag Race,” Walters said.

Festival-goers will be able to be entertained by and engaged with Anne Cumberly’s giant puppets throughout the day.

There will also be food, vendors, and sponsor booths, with more than 70 signed up thus far, Walters said.

More information about West Hartford Pride can be found on the website www.westhartfordpride.org or @PrideWeHa on Facebook and Instagram.

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