The Babylon Village Pride Parade was held on Deer Park Avenue...

The Babylon Village Pride Parade was held on Deer Park Avenue in Babylon on June. 5. Credit: James Carbone

The LGBT Network's 32nd Long Island Pride Parade returns this weekend with its inaugural celebration on Main Street in downtown Farmingdale after a two year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The flagship event, which features a parade, concert and festival, will take place Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. and is fully in person for the first time since 2019.

Attendance is free, although there's a $50 fee for groups, businesses or organizations that want to march in the parade.

"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," said David Kilmnick, president and chief executive of the Hauppauge-based LGBT Network. 'It’s time for us to celebrate like we never have before and march out and proud together."

Long Island Pride

Sunday, June 12, from noon to 6 p.m.

Parade, festival, vendor fair and concert all along Main Street in downtown Farmingdale

The event is free with the exception of a $50 fee for groups, businesses or organizations that want to march in the parade

The event begins with the parade, which will travel along Main Street from Northside Elementary School to Prospect Street and features three grand marshals: James Murray, principal of Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School, renowned New York City-based drag performer Bella Noche, and event sponsor Bethpage Federal Credit Union.

Thousands are expected to attend the festival, which includes a vendor fair, that is being held on the Village Green at Farmingdale Village Hall, organizers said. 

Featured entertainers include Latin freestyle singer and actor Coro, pop singer Nick Tangorra, Puerto Rican freestyle band TKA, dance hall singer Ultra Nate and contemporary singers Alyson Faith and Karen Bella.

"We truly hope everyone enjoys our wonderful downtown," said Village of Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand. "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.”

Pride flag at Suffolk County offices

On Friday, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone raised a rainbow Pride flag in front of the county offices in Hauppauge and swore in members and leaders of the county’s newly created LGBTQ+ advisory board.

For its first 26 years, the Long Island Pride event was celebrated in Huntington followed by a three-year stint in Long Beach.

Pride was scheduled to move to Jones Beach in 2020 before all major events were canceled statewide because of the pandemic.

Long Island Pride returned last year 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 participants and was livestreamed to thousands more.

Other community events

Other Long Island communities that have hosted Pride events this month include Babylon, East Hampton, Bellerose Village, Yaphank and Westbury.

Pride Month comes during a precarious time for the LGBTQ+ community as a host of new laws across the country target gay and transgender youth.

In recent months, Florida passed legislation prohibiting elementary school teachers from discussing gender identity or sexual orientation with students. Several other states followed suit or are planning similar bills.

A bevy of other bills across the country would limit the ability of transgender individuals to play sports, use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity and receive gender-affirming medical care.

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