According to organizers, Maplewood and South Orange locals will join together this weekend for a variety of Pride Month festivities celebrating “all LGBTQIA+ identities.” Maplewood Mayor Dean Dafis, who organizers describe as “Maplewood’s first out and proud LGBTQIA+ elected leader,” will lead the charge.
“As we celebrate how far we’ve come and recognize how much more there is to do to ensure our visibility and validity as citizens and communities through art, poetry, proms, picnics, and parties, we celebrate how far we’ve come and recognize how much more there is to do to ensure our visibility and validity as citizens and communities,” the June events’ organizers said.
Dafis will kick off Pride Month with a MAPSO equality march and flag-raising on Sunday, June 5.
“As my heroes Harvey Milk and Bayard Rustin would say, hope is not mute even in the darkest of times,” Dafis added. “It is enacted via marches and rallies, forged through struggle, and anchored in our love for one another, as well as peace, equality, and harmony. This June, I’m quite pleased of our diversified Pride program.”
The march will begin in Ricalton Square at 12 p.m. on Sunday. Following the parade, there will be a Youth Pride picnic at the Gazebo on Springfield Avenue.
The Stonewall Riots, also known as the Stonewall Uprising, occurred in 1969 and are commemorated throughout Pride Month.
New York City police invaded the Stonewall Inn, a homosexual nightclub in the West Village, on June 28, 1969. Six days of protests followed the raid.