Rutherford kicks off Pride Month with the borough’s first LGBTQ+ festival
With Pride Month in full swing in New Jersey, Rutherford celebrated its first-ever LGBTQ+ festival on Saturday featuring live entertainment, food trucks, a beer garden and activities for kids.
PrideFest, organized by Rutherford Pride Alliance, was held in Rutherford’s Lincoln Park and included live entertainment hosted by Harmonica Sunbeam and Honey Marie, as well as musical performances by Well Strung’s Daniel Shevlin.
Rutherford Pride Alliance President Rob Lyons said increasing the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community “is more important than ever, especially for our young people”.
“Growing up, I wish I had the opportunity to see local events that provided me with a safe support system,” Lyons said in a statement Friday. “We are so honored to be able to do just that.”
The Rutherford Pride Alliance was founded in 2018 by a small group of residents to introduce members of the LGBTQ+ community to each other, “and for the benefit of all members of the community, whether they identify themselves or not. to LGBTQ+”.
The group held the first Pride Rainbow Flag Raising at Rutherford’s Borough Hall in June 2019 and has since grown to several hundred members.
“Since our initial Pride Flag raising, we have seen tremendous support from our city and have been looking forward to creating a greater celebration for Rutherford and Southern Bergen County,” Lyons said.
The festival, sponsored by American Dream Mall and Variance Films, was co-hosted by the Rutherford Arts Council, a community group established in 2019 to help foster and fund arts projects in the area. The goals of the two organizations were a perfect match, according to Katie Pippin, co-chair of RAC.
“We are delighted to partner with RPA to host South Bergen’s first Pride and Art Festival,” Pippin said in a statement. “There is so much burgeoning artistry here! Identity being intrinsically linked to artistic expression, it seemed natural to work with the Pride Alliance on this festival.
For more information about the Pride Alliance and the Saturday festival, visit RutherfordPrideAlliance.org.
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