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Celebrate Boston Pride This Weekend

Parade and festival headline series of events


June marks Boston Pride Month, the annual celebration of the LGBTQ community in Boston and the New England area. This weekend is the culmination of the monthlong events, with the annual Boston Pride Parade and Festival tomorrow, Saturday, June 11, and block parties on Sunday.

The Boston Pride Parade, the centerpiece of Boston Pride Week, begins at noon in Copley Square and winds down Boylston Street to Tremont Street, ending at City Hall Plaza. The parade dates back to 1970, and this year will be led by grand marshal Claire B. Naughton, an LGBTQ activist and teacher, and will feature more than 30,000 marchers.

The parade is expected to draw nearly half a million spectators. Organizers urge people to arrive before the noon kickoff to get a good view.

The parade concludes at City Hall Plaza, the venue for the Boston Pride Festival and Concert, a daylong (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) event with food and entertainment. More than 100 vendors will be offering food, Boston Pride merchandise, information promoting health and awareness from local nonprofit organizations, and more. Among the performers will be headliner Conrad Sewell, an Australian pop/soul singer, as well as Frontline Poetry, Samantha J, Nikita Le Femme, and others. Attendees who are 21+ can enjoy libations at the Festival Bar, across from the stage. The festival will be followed by a Boston Pride Youth Dance at City Hall Plaza from 7 to 11 p.m.

The fun continues on Sunday with the Back Bay Block Party from 1 to 8 p.m. at the corner of St. James and Berkeley Streets. The block party will offer food, drinks, and music courtesy of DJ Jalil Z and DJ Andrea Stamas, two talented up-and-coming musicians with strong ties to the local LGBTQ community. Unlike the parade and festival, tickets ($15 for general admission) are required and can be purchased here or in person the day of the event (suggestion: buy in advance and skip the line).

The theme of this year’s celebration, “Solidarity through Pride,” is meant to recognizes “the multiple struggles of communities, both within and outside the LGBT community, and that they are all related and intertwined,” according to the Boston Pride website.

Find a complete list of Boston Pride events here.

The Boston Pride Parade starts at noon on Saturday, June 11, at Copley Square. The full parade route can be found here. The parade is free. A handicap-accessible viewing area is available near the Pride Festival; seating is limited and is first come, first served. To reserve a seat, email parade@bostonpride.org. The Boston Pride Festival starts at 11 a.m. and the Concert at noon at City Hall Plaza on Saturday, June 11. The festival is free for all attendees. A complete list of performers can be found here.

The Back Bay Block Party begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 12, at St. James Street in Copley Square. Tickets ($15, general admission) are required and are available online and at the event.

All events this weekend will take place rain or shine.

Connor Lenahan can be reached at lenahan@bu.edu.

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