POUGHKEEPSIE – Nearly 1,000 people joined together in Poughkeepsie Saturday afternoon to celebrate Pride Month and proudly wave their banners. Saturday’s attendance overwhelmed the attendance at the pre-pandemic parade in 2019.
“This city tries every day to be respectful, prideful, decent, and remindful of different lifestyles and that is why the Dutchess County Pride Center keeps choosing our city as the location to celebrate various lifestyles in a safe environment,” said Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison.
“We march in memory of the Stonewall riots of 1969,” said Karen Marder of the Dutchess County Pride Center, prior to the parade’s start. “We are also united here to celebrate the slow but positive changes in social acceptance,” she announced, adding “We are all here to help each other feel safe while providing resources for the LGBTQ+ community and their families to express themselves in a safe environment. We’re here for each other.”
Several community groups and corporate partners joined with groups such as the Dutchess County Democratic Caucus of the county legislature (DCDL) in the PKGO Pride Parade and Festival. Dutchess County Legislator Craig Brendli and his husband Robert marched down Main Street to Waryas Park for the festival. “The number of people in the parade, combined with the people lining the parade route to cheer was incredible,” Brandli said. “It’s a great feeling.”
Several hundred people marched down Main Street and gathered in the waterfront ark for entertainment, brief speeches, and a wide variety of food vendors and family-friendly activities.
A video of a portion of the parade can be viewed below: