June 2 to 11 marked the celebration of Boston’s annual Pride Week, a tradition that is running its 46th year. 2017’s festivities marked yet another memorable year for the tradition- with new events going great, and old events better than ever before.
Read through to see our recap of Pride Week ’17 and start getting hyped for next year already!
Flag Raising Ceremony: Friday, June 2
Image Courtesy of @csann on Twitter
The official kick-off to Pride Week was led by Mayor Marty Walsh in City Hall Plaza. He, among others, gave a powerful speech regarding this year’s theme, “Stronger Together”, and the obstacles that the LGBTQ+ community faces that we must all conquer together. In particular, Walsh spoke out against the hateful rhetoric that is being used in politics and intolerance among high ranking officials of the nation.
Following all speakers, the rainbow flag (whose creator just recently passed away) was hoisted as individuals each cranked it further up the pole until it was in its rightful spot at the top.
Pride Day at Faneuil Hall / High Heel Dash
Image Courtesy of bostonherald.com
The 17th annual Pride Day at Faneuil Hall was kicked off by a new event: the High Heel Dash. Contestants raced 2 city blocks wearing heels that were a minimum of 2 inches. Zak Wood finished first in the raced, but much fun was had by even the slowest dashing dasher. The inaugural race marked the beginning of Pride Day—an all-day festival with performances and LGBTQ+ friendly exhibitions all along the Quincy Market stage and Faneuil Hall. An after party was held at the Bell in Hand tavern.
Pride Nights with the Revolution and Red Sox
Image Courtesy of New England Revolution on YouTube
Pride Night with the Revolution was another first, as the Midnight Riders fan group and New England’s major league soccer team hosted a fantastic pride night in Gillette Stadium on June 3. A portion of ticket sales were donated to Boston Pride, the organization that plans Pride Week festivities each year. Not only was the night a great demonstration of support and unity, the Revolution shut out Toronto FC 3-0.
Pride Night with the Red Sox celebrated it’s fifth year, but the event is still going very strong. The historic Fenway Park was packed with rainbow flags and supporters; a great image of the wonderful, supportive city we all come home. The Red Sox also brought home the W that night, beating the Detroit Tigers 5-3.
Image Courtesy of @Sean1BBsquared on Twitter
Unfortunately bad weather moved the annual Pride Lights event indoors to the Black Box Theatre, but it was no less a stunning display. The ceremony included performances by the Theater Offensive and a vigil for victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting.
Image Courtesy of bostonpride.org/arts
Through Pride Week and beyond, Boston hosted and will be hosting various LGBTQ+ centered performances and art displays. On June 7, the MFA offered the “Oscar Wilde Tour LGBTQ+ Themed Art” and a supplementary lecture. Other Pride Arts events included a screening of “The Guys Next Door”, a performance of “and all the men and women merely players”, and more available on the Pride Arts website.
Pride Festival and Concert
The Pride Festival overtook city hall plaza for yet another year on June 10, with pride-friendly vendors sprawling all over the brick surface. The concert followed, featuring headliners Lillie McCloud, Carlito Olivero and Fantine. The show was emceed by Adrian A, who is not only a great DJ, but also the 14th person in the country to legally have their gender registered as non-binary. A youth dance was also held that night in the plaza. The festival and events were perfect companions to the marquee event of Pride Week, which is of course…
The Pride Parade
Image Courtesy of allevents.in
Boston’s Pride Parade is always one of the largest and greatest of its kind every year. This year was no different, with tens of thousands of individuals and hundreds of groups marching and spectating in the heart of Boston on June 10. Running from Copley Square to City Plaza, the parade was a great demonstration of unity worthy of the “Stronger Together” theme. 29 survivors of the Pulse Nightclub shooting were paraded through the streets on a float reading “Love is Love is Love” amidst cheers from onlookers. The massive march certainly lived up to its hype from previous years and will certainly have many more to come.
Pride Rally and Block Parties
Image Courtesy of necn.com
The final flagship events of Pride Week, the Pride Rally and subsequent block parties, were a great way to close off a great week. This years rally held true to the theme “Stronger Together”, and was a unified demonstration from all groups and identities in Boston still fighting for equal rights and treatment. Allies joined hands and celebrated the unity of our city while still discussing what is left to be done, as leading figures like Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey gave passionate speeches. Other speakers included politicians, advocates, and other allies of the LGBTQ+ equality movement. After the rally, which has been running since 1971, block parties in both Back Bay and Jamaica Plain heated up. The Back Bay party was headlined by gay DJ Alain Jackinsky. Jamaica Plain’s party was emceed by Sapphira Cristal and headlined by DJ Leah V, also known as the People’s DJ. Everyone came together on this last night to celebrate the crazy, fun week of pride and to have a good time.
This years Pride Week was another one for the books, with record attendance and some new events finding their place among traditions. Boston showed once again why it’s the best city in the nation, and we will all eagerly look forward to next year’s festivities.
Want more Boston pride? Check out our article on the Patriots sponsoring Gay Bowl XVII!