New Hope looks to past, future

New Hope looks to past, future

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This year’s Pride festivities in New Hope will include a unique opportunity to explore the town’s LGBT history while celebrating its future.

New Hope Celebrates Pride, which runs May 14-20 in the Bucks County town, will include LGBT-history exhibit “Looking Forward to Looking Back.” 

The project is an outgrowth of Retro-Scope.org, a digital archive featuring photos, documents and other ephemera telling New Hope’s storied LGBT history. Excerpts of the project will be installed at art galleries and other venues throughout New Hope and Lambertville through May 21. Guests can follow a map to each venue and listen along to a podcast detailing New Hope’s LGBT history as they explore the exhibit.

“This is the first time we’ve really tried to spread the festival into the art world,” said Dan Brooks, founder of NHC and co-founder of Retro-Scope. “With the podcast that goes with the map, people can listen to the history as they view the exhibits and it’ll almost feel like they’re living it.”

Incorporating Lambertville into the exhibit goes hand in hand with Pride’s evolution, Brooks said.

“Throughout our 14 years, while some Prides try to get more LGBT-specific, it’s always been our goal to make it more diverse,” he said. “We have been trying to spread all of our events over to Lambertville and encourage people to make the trip over the bridge because we want to make everything as diverse and inclusive as we can, to make sure everyone knows they’re welcome to participate.”

The May 20 parade will again begin in Lambertville and proceed through New Hope’s Main Street. The parade will include the debut of the organization’s new 100-foot rainbow flag, carried by local LGBT youth.

Until this year, the organization had used a section of the Key West Rainbow Flag. 

“We had been using part of the flag that was the original one from San Francisco but was on loan to Key West,” Brooks said. “Key West would then send it to us and then to the next group and it would get passed around each year. So this will be the first time we’re not borrowing and that New Hope now has its own 100-foot flag.”

The new addition was crafted by Humphrey’s in Old City and was made possible by a donation from presenting sponsor Landmark Hospitality and Logan Inn. 

Logan Inn will be the host of this year’s Pride Fair Village, which opens noon May 20. The fair was previously held at the Bucks County Playhouse lot, but this year will spread from West and East Ferry streets, surrounding Logan Inn, to a portion of the playhouse’s lot. Dozens of vendors will participate in the fair, offering crafts, merchandise, games, food and more.

Brooks said the event showcases the town’s diversity, which, he added, lasts far beyond Pride week. 

“New Hope has always been an inclusive town,” he said. “You can have a biker bar that has a drag show; gay bars aren’t the only places, by far, where the LGBT populace congregates. By nature we’ve always been diverse and I think that shows in our Pride. People come from all over because they consider our Pride to be a model of how Prides should be in terms of inclusivity.”

For more information, visit www.newhopecelebrates.com.


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