Longmeadow Pride Alliance to host 2nd annual Pride Festival

Sept. 7, 2022 | Sarah Heinonen

LONGMEADOW – Community, entertainment and information will be awash in the colors of the rainbow on the Town Green Sept. 18 for the second annual Longmeadow Pride Festival. The event, taking place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., is organized by the Longmeadow Pride Alliance.

“We were very excited to see how many people came out to our festival in its inaugural year,” said Longmeadow Pride Alliance Vice President Elizabeth Morgan.

Last year, Morgan estimated, there were about 1,000 attendees. This year, based on the interest the Alliance has received so far, they are expecting about 1,500.
Because the event will be 50 percent larger, the cost of it has gone up, as well. “Our costs have significantly increased,” Morgan said, rattling off several new financial considerations such as event insurance, the bigger stage and the need for EMTs (emergency medical technicians) to be on site. The organization, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is still looking for donations for this year’s event. It is about halfway to its fundraising goal.

Morgan noted that while the costs have gone up, the donations have increased, as well. “We received a lot of feedback from people who were excited that there was such a great turnout [in 2021] and wanted to be a part of it this year.”

Roughly 30 businesses have donated money or in-kind contributions.

With that added interest comes added variety at the festival. There will be five options for food this year, instead of the two that were present last year. “The bigger stage will lend [itself] to better entertainment and more visibility,” Morgan said, and because more service organizations know the festival, there will be more information available to attendees. Morgan said many organizations reached out after the 2021 festival and told her that they found out about it too late but would participate this year.

“Seeing so many types of organizations represented there, and allies, is really helpful,” Morgan told Reminder Publishing.

She noted, “for those looking for inclusive, helpful and knowledgeable care,” Springfield-based Mental Health Association (MHA) will be on hand, as will Transhealth Northampton, a healthcare resource that focuses on transgender care, education, research and advocacy. She said the town has been “so supportive” particularly the Select Board, school department, Parks & Recreation Department and the Longmeadow Police and Fire Departments.

“People walked away last year feeling so heart warmed,” and “we want people to enjoy the festival and join us in celebrating,” Morgan said.

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