“When I founded the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee over 20 years ago, I was hopeful that we would increase the visibility of the LGBT community in Queens in a positive and impactful way,” Councilman Daniel Dromm said. “Having the mayor of the City of New York as our grand marshal shows just how far we have come.”
De Blasio became the first mayor to march in the parade last year, and even marched in 2013 while still serving as public advocate.
“The mayor’s presence is an acknowledgment that the LGBT community in Queens and throughout the city is visible, welcome and included,” Dromm said.
The theme of this year’s parade, which kicks off at noon, is “Pride – Strength – Unity,” according to organizers. Also at noon, the Queens Pride Festival begins along 37th Road from 74th to 77th streets.
The festival features close to 100 vendors, community and social group booths and two stages of entertainment with performances throughout the day until 6 p.m.
One of the day’s featured performers includes multi-platinum artist CeCe Peniston known for her hits “Finally,” “We Got a Love Thang” and “Lifetime to Love.”
“This year’s theme, Pride – Strength – Unity, highlights the diversity that is Queens. Queens has the largest number of language/ethnic groups in the whole U.S.A. Despite the linguistic and cultural vastness, we all come together to celebrate our accomplishments and continue to work towards further advancements,” said Alan Reiff, co-chair of Queens Pride.
Days before the parade on June 4, Queens Pride will collaborate with NYC Pride, Brooklyn Pride, Staten Island LGBT Community Center, Bronx Pride, Chutney Pride and Out Astoria, to host a Pride Kick-Off Party at Studio Square, located at 35-33 36th St. in Long Island City. The event will benefit Queens Community House.