-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events
Pride 365: A Program of Galaei invites the entire LGBTQ+ community and allies to celebrate “Love, Light and Liberation” at the 2023 Philadelphia Pride March and Festival on Sunday, June 4, 2023. The march will kick-off at 6th and Walnut at 10:30am. All are welcome to join the march for speeches, music and to share joy. Watch for Philadelphia and Pennsylvania’s largest pride flag to be unveiled, at 200 feet long. All are welcome to join the march, with no registration required. Floats and vehicles are not permitted. When the march reaches the Gayborhood, the festival will begin, running from 12:00pm to 7:00pm, on Walnut to Cypress streets, and Quince to Juniper streets, with other select roads closed around the festival footprint. The festival will feature over 200 small businesses, performers, entertainers, artists, vendors, local bars, food trucks, community organizations, stages and much more. The march and festival are free to attend – and all food and drink are pay-as-you-go. Philadelphia Pride March and Festival are a proud part of Philly Gay Pride Month.
After a few years of pride programming being in flux, Galaei, a historic organization serving queer, trans, black, brown, indigenous, and people of color, has taken up the mantle for programming under the banner of Pride 365. This new program aims to provide one of the largest pride celebrations in America with new leadership, new stability and a renewed sense of community and purpose.
“Pride is more than a party, and it always has been,” said Galaei Executive Director and Community Organizer Tyrell Brown (they/he). “At its core, pride celebrates our community’s activist roots in challenging the status quo and celebrating ourselves authentically and freely. Pride is also a resource festival, a space to build community and a way to support one another. Through Pride 365 and the Philadelphia Pride March and Festival, Galaei looks to help bring ‘Love, Light and Liberation’ to all the colors of the Greater Philadelphia community.”
Brown added, “”No one organization or individual can own ‘pride’, and Galaei celebrates you, celebrating yourself, community, and the love and light you bring to this world both on pride day and year round.”
For 2023’s celebration, Galaei has selected “Love, Light and Liberation” as the theme, as coined by Galaei’s TINGS (Trans Intersex NonBinary and Gender Nonconforming Services) Program Manager Hazel Edwards.
“This year and ongoing, let us celebrate our love for community, the light we bring to the world, and the march towards the QTBIPOC liberation that we all deserve,” said Brown.
The Pride March will form and organize at 6th and Walnut at 10:30am and end in the Philadelphia Gayborhood. The Annual Philadelphia Gay News Pride Brunch and Stonewall Awards Ceremony will convene at 11:00am at the Arts Ballroom and brunch attendees will exit to join the “Love, Light and Liberation” Pride March and join up for the Pride Festival.
The final route for the march is being finalized and will be shared in a future update. The march will be an open invitation to the LGBTQ+ community and allies, with no registration needed. While floats and vehicles will not be permitted, everyone is welcome to join before the march starts for speeches, music, and joy. Please join the Galaei Pride 365 “Love Light and Liberation” March through Philadelphia, whether with a group or organization aligned with Galaei’s mission, with friends and family, or solo.
The march is an ode to The Reminder Day Demonstrations that were held in front of Independence Hall on Chestnut Street from 1965 until 1969 to raise awareness of bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination toward the LGBTQ+ community and to send the message that “Gay is good.” The 1972 Pride Day March concluded at the same spot 50 years ago.
The march will kick-off with speeches from community leaders and guests and a land acknowledgment from the Lenape Tribe. Then, the march will proceed to the festival. Along the way, look for the giant 200 feet long record-breaking pride flag to be unveiled with help from dozens of community members and volunteers. This is the largest pride flag in Philadelphia history and aims to set the record for the biggest pride flag in Pennsylvania. The flag was custom designed for Galaei and made in Pennsylvania.
Pride 365 and Galaei bring together the city’s top LGBTQ+ organizers to produce a dynamic festival – and one of the single largest outdoor festivals of the year in Philadelphia.
The festival runs from 12:00pm to 7:00pm, and will spread out across the Gayborhood from Walnut to Cypress streets, and Quince to Juniper streets, with other select roads closed around the festival footprint. The festival will feature over 200 small businesses that Pride 365 has employed an equitable funding model to procure. In addition there will be stages with local performers, entertainers, artists, vendors, food trucks, community organizations, and local bars.
“We’ve coordinated this effort with much care around pride’s more profound meaning and intention,” said Brown. “Pride is many things; we wish to lift up and celebrate it as both a gathering of extended LGBTQ+ friends and family in the community, as well as grounding the event as a resource fair that uplifts and directly supports the most marginalized members of the QTBIPOC community.”
Within the larger festival, Galaei has worked with community partners to build a variety of fun and vibrant places for everyone. Youth and Family Programming will be an expansive space curated by several local organizations, including The Attic Youth Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence, Galaei’s SPLAT program, Philly Family Pride, and the William Way LGBT Community Center. This space is alcohol and smoke free and will feature age-appropriate and safe youth and family programming to celebrate all generations of Philadelphia Pride.
This year’s festival continues with unique food and beverage experiences. A dedicated Sober Space and dry bar for adults includes a stage for DJs and performances. In addition, food Truck Way features diverse meal possibilities, with accessible priced food options for all to enjoy.
The Decompression Zone, in conjunction with Disability Pride PA, is a space for attendees seeking an accessible, low-sensory respite from festivities. This area will feature seating, tables, accessible bathrooms, a cooling station, a wheelchair charging station, and low-level music. This provides a space for elders, those living with disabilities, and others seeking rest and relaxation during the event.
Medical Services will be provided throughout the festival area staffed by local non-profits and CBOs including Action Wellness, Mazzoni Center, Courage Medicine and Bebashi. In addition, Galaei will continue utilizing a community safety model that includes mental wellness services, social workers, and a professional contracted trained private security. All of these services will be on-site in collaboration with multiple local organizations.
In keeping with Galaei’s dedication to highlighting Queer and Trans Black and Brown traditions and forms of expression, Galaei is introducing a new space “Bailar con amor,” an ode to Afro-Latinx heritage art and expression. Galaei also brings back Kiki Alley, a celebration space highlighting the rich culture and history of the Philadelphia ballroom community. In addition, the Philadelphia Muses Stage returns and will feature a diverse lineup of local performers and producers curated by Sway Philly and BOS Philly.
The “Love, Light, Liberation” Philadelphia Pride Festival includes tabling opportunities for small businesses, nonprofits, community organizations, colleges, trade schools, and universities.
Pride 365 events are coordinated by Galaei staff, volunteers, and contracted production support. 51 years after the city’s first Pride, there is still much work to be done for the LGBTQ+ community. This year’s theme is centered around celebrating how far we’ve come, claiming and reclaiming community spaces and happiness. Galaei hopes that you will be part of this year’s celebration of Love, Light, and Liberation.
For more information on volunteering, participating, or sponsoring the festival, please visit www.phillypride365.org, or contact Pride365@PhillyPride365.org.