Philly Pride Presents confirmed to PGN the organization will reschedule its annual Pride Parade and Festival for the first time in its 29 years. Pride will now be held June 18 at Penn's Landing so it does not conflict with Washington D.C.'s National Pride March on June 11, the local event's original date.
“It's a decision that had to be made because even some people who work with us are going to go to D.C.," said the organization's executive director, Franny Price. "It was a decision that we never wanted to make but it was a decision to save the Philadelphia Pride Parade and Festival and OutFest. We did not want to cause a conflict [with] the community [members] who would want to go to the march.”
The National Pride March began as a Facebook event that grew to more than 31,000 confirmed guests and more than 109,000 guests designated as "interested."
Price said out of the previous 28 Philadelphia Pride events, 25 have been held during the second weekend in June.
Philly Pride Presents traditionally sends out vendor applications in January but organizers postponed the process due to uncertainty about if the June 11 date would be rescheduled. Price said the vendor-application process will begin next week and the organization will notify annual vendors of the new date. Additionally, Price said the organization had been in contact with the annual vendors about the possibility of a date change prior to this announcement.
Price noted that Philadelphia's close proximity to Washington, D.C. could have hurt attendance, as well as vendor involvement.
"We don't want people to make a choice," Price said. "There will be some who would have stayed local but there would have been a lot more who would jump on a $10 bus or carpool [to Washington, D.C.]. It is only a stone-throw away."
Price said she hopes vendors and sponsors will stay on board with the new date.
"All we can do is start planning and going forward," Price said.