Holyoke Pride Fest

Holyoke Pride Fest

Maura Dulude, Digital Editor

It’s finally June, which means Pride Month has begun. Pride month celebrates individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and more. June brings awareness to the uplifting of LGBTQ+ voices, celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and the support of LGBTQ+ rights. 

Cities in Massachusetts such as Holyoke, raise awareness for Pride. Holyoke’s annual PrideFest will be held on Saturday, June 17th, from noon until 6 p.m. at Veterans Park. There will be a variety of local art and craft vendors, food trucks, entertainment, and activities for children. Jessica Wild, a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, is the featured guest. City hall will also hoist a pride flag to commence Pride Month. 

The streets of downtown Springfield will be lit up with all colors of the rainbow on Saturday as the second annual Pride Parade returns to the city.

All are welcome to take part in the celebration of LGBTQIA+ pride, which steps off from Springfield Technical Community College at noon. The parade will march to Stearns Square, where a citywide block party will begin at 12:30 p.m. and last until 9 p.m.

Jessica Wild, a drag performer and Grammy nominated musician Mary Lambert will perform at Veterans’ Park on June 17 for Holyoke Pride Fest. The annual festival will be celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. Jeffrey Bianchine, a Holyoke Pride Fest organizer, is thrilled for this year’s celebration as he saw a tremendous turnout at last year’s event. Vendors sold out all their products, and food trucks were a major hit. 

Mary Lambert, who will be headlining the event is thrilled to perform at Holyoke Pride this year. She has performed at the Grammys and has significantly impacted the music industry. Bianchine said. Lambert talks about how “Holyoke has become home to me, and I really love being able to be my true self here. I feel safe and welcomed as a queer artist — and Holyoke Pride has been a big part of that. I can’t wait to sing and cry and laugh with everyone on June 17.”

A current contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars,” Jessica Wild will also be performing at the festival. “With her unique flair and energy as a popular drag queen, she adds an extra layer of excitement to our celebration,” Bianchine said.

COVID-19 did not affect the crowds or spirits at Pride Fest 2022, but the 2023 version will be having a major comeback from Covid featuring more performers, a dozen food trucks and alcohol sales. “We aim to make PrideFest a must-attend event for the Western Mass community. We want to showcase outstanding talent and embrace the trend of drag queens, which has gained significant popularity and attention,” Bianchine explained.


Visit the official website for a complete listing of events: www.holyokepride.org.