Worcester celebrates its pride and diversity

By Mike Wood

Everything’s coming up rainbows! It’s been a banner year for LGBT rights, and Worcester is set to recognize the immense strides that have been made for LGBT equality in just the last few months with its annual Pride parade and festival.

The all-day event takes place Saturday, Sept. 7, beginning with a Pride Parade in the morning and a festival that immediately follows the march. The parade route ends at Worcester Common on Main Street (behind City Hall) around noon, but the party continues late into the day. The Worcester Pride on the Common festival follows the parade and is sure to be a good time for people of all persuasions, with performances and vendors galore!

While most major cities near and far (Boston, Providence, New York, Los Angeles, etc.) hold their festivals in June to commemorate and coincide with the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that occurred in June 1969, Worcester stands out from the crowd as a diverse LGBT-friendly city all its own by picking early fall to hold its festival. This year marks the 38th anniversary of Worcester’s Pride Parade, and the city has long held to its proud tradition of welcoming people of every sexual orientation.

The day’s activities aren’t just about parties. Sept. 7 is a day to recognize the power of community by embracing each other and our collective diversity. At press time, performers for the celebration had yet to be announced (although, country singer Glenn Stewart is confirmed for the event). Rest assured that the organizers will keep everything pretty close to PG, since the festival and the parade are becoming more and more family- and straight ally-friendly every year.

If you’re up for a good time with the LGBT community, be sure to check out the Worcester Pride Pageant at Coral Seafood on Shrewsbury Street the night before the parade and festival (Sept. 6). There are three categories to be crowned or sashed: Miss Gay Worcester, Mr. Gay Worcester and Ms. Lesbian Worcester ~ and the contestants can be from all sexual identities and orientations. They’ll simply be competing in whichever category they feel most comfortable. So join in on the fun and keep up with the pageant’s Facebook page (facebook.com/WorcesterMAPride) to learn more about the pre-Pride pageant.

Join your central Massachusetts neighbors in Worcester to celebrate the city’s diversity by observing and celebrating equality and inclusion for all. It’s one big party, and everyone ~ of all sexual identities ~ is invited to partake in this joyous celebration of equal rights and camaraderie.

For the latest information on performers and schedule, visit worcesterpride.org.