BELFAST — There was an air of exuberance as Belfast Has Pride’s annual Pride Parade made its way from Belfast Area High to the waterfront near the Boathouse Saturday morning.
It was sunny skies and warm temperatures as Main Street slowly lined with people waiting for the telltale blue lights of the police cars that mark the start and end of the parade, with many dressed for the occasion and carrying signs of support.
Pride parades take place all over the United States during June, which is LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) Pride Month, commemorating the Stonewall riots that took place in June 1969, according to the Library of Congress.
The Stonewall riots, also known as the Stonewall uprising, or Stonewall rebellion, involved members of the LGBT community, who were reacting to an early morning NYPD raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar located in Manhattan, early June 28, 1969. Many consider the riots to be the most pivotal event leading to gay liberation and the fight for LGBT rights.
This year will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the raid on Stonewall Inn.
The Library of Congress notes that LGBTQ Pride Month events are participated in by millions of people all over the world, with countless parades, events, memorials and other activities drawing in all types.
This year in Belfast there were many familiar faces who have marched in the parade over the years, with businesses including Bank of America, Hannaford, The Co-op, Athena, and a number of local churches, among others.
In addition to the typical drumming, there were also spirited chants this year, which typically dissolved into cheers from both participants and spectators.
Though there was no Belfast Has Pride festival following the parade this year, community members were encouraged to stick around and take advantage of the weather and company.
Erica Thoms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org