Members representing the "Couch on Wheels" community group dance in...

Members representing the "Couch on Wheels" community group dance in the street during the Long Island Pride Parade, held in Long Beach in 2017. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

After a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the LGBT Network's annual Long Island Pride Parade will return in full this June with a first-time celebration in the Village of Farmingdale, officials announced Tuesday.

The event, now in its 32nd year, was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic protocols and last June returned as a hybrid celebration with a four-hour concert at the Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre in Eisenhower Park in East Meadow that drew about 3,000 in-person celebrants and was livestreamed to thousands more.

This year's event is scheduled for June 12 and will feature a parade, concert and festival.

"We are thrilled and excited to announce that Long Island Pride is fully back in person and in an amazing new location," LGBT Network president and CEO David Kilmnick said in a statement. Announcing the partnership organized in conjunction with Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand and village trustees, Kilmnick said, "We have come together to celebrate Pride and it will be showcased in one of Long Island’s great downtowns."

He added, "On the heels of the pandemic and with anti-LGBT legislation being passed in many states, Pride is more important than ever before to come out, be visible and show unity and strength, especially for those who may not be ready to do so now. It’s time for us to celebrate like we never have before and march out and proud together."

For its first 26 years the Pride event was celebrated in Huntington, then had a three-year stint in Long Beach. It was scheduled to move to Jones Beach in 2020 before all major events were canceled statewide due to COVID-19.

The decision to return to a live event in 2021 was made following a survey in which more than 70% of respondents hoped for an in-person event and more than 80% supported a COVID-19 vaccination requirement to attend, officials said last year.

Initially the 2021 celebration was to have a strict 500-person capacity limit due to coronavirus protocols established by the state Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which required proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to attend. The capacity limits were eased when the actual event took place.

Still, what emerged was a hybrid, with some attendees participating remotely.

This year the event will be held 100% in-person, the LGBT Network said, with attendees to gather in celebration with a parade on Main Street.

"The Village of Farmingdale is honored to have been selected as the site for the LGBT Network's Long Island Pride Parade and Festival on June 12," Ekstrand said in a statement Tuesday. He added, "We truly hope everyone enjoys our wonderful downtown. Farmingdale is ‘Home of the Culinary Quarter Mile’ and tons more! We are here to help in any way, thrilled to welcome the LGBT Network and we know it will be a complete success."

Parade registration and sponsorship opportunities are available now at https://lipride.org/.

A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports. Credit: Newsday/Daddona / Pfost / Villa Loarca

Uncovering the truth about the chemical drums A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports.

A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports. Credit: Newsday/Daddona / Pfost / Villa Loarca

Uncovering the truth about the chemical drums A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports.

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