Rhode Island PrideFest Returns to Providence June 18
After a two-year hiatus, the 46th annual celebration takes to the Creative Capital with an illuminated night parade, entertainment, vendors and more.
Pride’s back, baby!
After being sidelined for two years because of the pandemic, the Rhode Island PrideFest and Illuminated Night Parade returns to Providence on Saturday, June 18, with the perfect theme: “Together Again.”
“We’re moving ahead,” says Rodney Davis, president of Rhode Island Pride. “It’s going to take a lot of faith and a lot of hard work. It normally takes a full year to plan Pride. But we know that the community — the LGBTQIA+ community and the community as a whole — is in need of this type of event.”
The 46th annual celebration runs from noon–7 p.m. in the Innovation District Park, across from South Water Street and the Providence Pedestrian Bridge, with plenty of entertainment, performances, vendors, a community resource hub and a beer, wine and spirits garden. The illuminated parade starts winding its way through the city streets at 8 p.m.
Organizers are also seeking volunteers to help plan the event, which usually draws more than 100,000 celebrants. You can sign up to be a festival or parade volunteer here.
“Pride is such a great thing, but it takes a lot of hard work and dedication,” Davis says. “We’re all volunteers doing this. This is done out of love, and our movement is all about love, who we love and loving ourselves.”
The past two years have impacted Rhode Island Pride – and indeed, the fabric of Pride throughout the world, Davis says, as issues surrounding racism and gender identity were happening simultaneously along with COVID.
“We had to have a lot of conversations. We went through some leadership changes,” Davis says. “As much as it might be difficult, sometimes it’s necessary in order to figure out what we can do to make the world a better place.”
Many details are still being planned and will be announced at later dates; check the Rhode Island Pride website for more details as the event draws closer.