Lehigh Valley Pride celebrates 25 years

Lehigh Valley Pride celebrates 25 years

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The Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center is preparing for the Lehigh Valley’s 25th annual Pride in the Park celebration Aug. 19, the center’s first time organizing the festival since merging with local group Pride of the Greater Lehigh Valley.

Adrian Shanker, executive director of Bradbury-Sullivan, said the celebration provides necessary community support for the region.

“The existence of the festival is needed in areas like Allentown. There is still a need for increased visibility for our community. Pride in the Park is a celebration of our rights, and we’re doing all that we can to continue to advance our progress.”

The celebration will return to Cedar Beach Park in Allentown and will include vendors, merchants, artisans, games, live entertainment and resource-sharing tables from more than 150 community groups and local businesses. Festival headliners will include Vanessa “Vanjie” Mateo of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 10 and her drag family, Alexis Mateo (season 3 and All Stars season 1 contestant) and Jelitza Fearce, current Miss Renaissance Plus drag-pageant winner.

The event will also feature youth-friendly spaces with a kid space (for children up to age 14) and a teen space (ages 14-21). Drag performer Amie Vanité will host Drag Queen Story Hour during the celebration.

Pride of the Greater Lehigh Valley was started in 1993 by a group of area activists who, after attending a civil-rights march in Washington, D.C., recognized “the need to provide a … welcoming atmosphere for the Lehigh Valley gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex community,” according to its website.

The Pride organization merged with Bradbury-Sullivan last September. 

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