Friday, May 11, 2018

Big crowd expected for Buffalo Pride Week

         The annual Buffalo and Western New York Pride Week, the cultural event of the season,  will begin late next month with an expected attendance rate upwards of 30,000, 10  times the amount since the festival’s move to Canalside in 2011. 
Pride Week preparations are well underway with the flag raising ceremony kicking off the festivities on May 29.
Other events include the Gay 5k on May 30, the Dyke March on June 2, and concludes with the Pride Parade and Pride Festival on June 3.  The Pride Parade has over 100 organizations participating in support of their LGBTQ community. Starting at SUNY Buffalo State campus at noon, the parade stretches over two miles down Elmwood Avenue and ends on Allen Street.
            With such a large number of attendees, festival goers will have to pay a $10 fee to enter the final event taking place at Canalside.
“When you're seeing all over the country people with bombs and driving into crowds, it makes security more expensive because we have to protect the participants.,” Mordecai said.
Mordecai also warns, bags will not be permitted into the venue for security reasons.
Dating back to the early 1970s, Pride Week has been a beacon of acceptance. Damian Mordecai, executive director of the Pride Center of Western New York, attributes the growth in popularity of the week to this region.
         “Stuff that happens here doesn't happen in other cities, it really does say a lot about this area,” Mordecai said. By Tara Hark and Max Wagner