Pride in Northampton is a day where people join together to promote equal rights and unity, a day where members and allies of the LGBT communities take to the streets to celebrate, educate and raise awareness. The 34 the day with thousands of people lining Main Street. Drag performer Erynn Rocabich says that pride “brings our community together. It lets the different generations kind of see each other. It lets the older generation break out of their shell and go crazy, it lets theyounger generation know that there is a place for them to go and that it will all get better and that they have a family, even if their family isn’t around.”
People came out in record numbers to join in this year’s celebration. The Three County Fairgrounds buzzed with excitement as people began making their way to the post parade festivities. Entertainment was provided on the main stage while human rights groups, businesses, venders and other organizations set up camp for the day.
Liz Jensen of Northampton says that at pride “you get to network and you get to learn about things that you maybe didn’t know about. You’d be hard up to find another festival that has so much love in it.”
“It’s really all about humanity treating each other like humanity and having a good time, celebrating getting along and living the way everyone wants to live” says Angie Fontaine, a volunteer at the peace corps booth. Jeff Webster volunteers at pride events around the country and says that pride is an important part of his life “because it represents my group of people who are growing and moving on with our lives in a better way.”
Volunteer and performer Ivanna says having that Pride is necessary as “it shows that you’re proud of who you are and no one should have to hide who they are it’s a beautiful thing to just be yourself and be happy”.