POUGHQUAG – Gay pride was celebrated at a 175-acre apple orchard on Saturday in Poughquag. Barton Orchards hosted “Pride in July” to “celebrate family, inclusion, and the diversity of the Hudson Valley,” according to the event organizers.
Hundreds of people arrived for the event including a wide variety of entertainment, featuring nationally-known entertainers portraying Barbara Streisand and Judy Garland. Tina Burner, a drag queen that competed on RuPaul’s Drag Race
performed and participated as a judge for the amateur drag queen contest that gave the winner $1,000 in cash.
Chuck Merrihew, known as the Chief Fun Officer for the event was tasked with coordinating the festival by Pete Barton and Jenn Cunningham, who came up with the idea. “This family-friendly event was brought together to promote inclusiveness and positivity to the local area,” said Merrihew. Poughkeepsie residents Ryan Doughty and his partner Joshua Taylor
deejayed, playing music for the attendees to enjoy while visiting the food trucks and vendors as well as playing any one of the number of games that were suitable for all ages.
“The festival, benefitting the Dutchess County Pride Center
drew patrons from all over the tri-state area and as far away as Mexico. “The day of fun, games, and entertainment culminated with a fireworks display that rivaled the bigger shows in New York City,” boasted Merrihew.