The Second Annual Hudson Pride Festival June 17 - 19
Posted by: Dan Shaw
Posted on: Wednesday, June 15, 2011
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Hudson Pride 2010 Grand Marshals Charlie Ferrusi and Timmy Howard.
One year ago, Hudson became the undisputed LGBT capital of the Rural Intelligence region with the inaugural Hudson Pride Parade and Festival. Galvanized by the surprising and groundbreaking election of Hudson High School seniors Charlie Ferrusi and Timmy Howard as prom queen and king (who were recruited at the last minute to become the parade’s grand marshals), locals, transplants and weekenders came together in unprecedented fashion: They jubilantly celebrated their hyper-stylish but rough-around-the-edges city as a community of diversity, inclusivity and acceptance. This year’s three-day Hudson Pride Festival expands upon last year’s promise with events for everyone, including an under 21 dance at the Cannonball Factory on June 18 and a Family Festival on June 19 with facepainting, balloon animals and a bouncy castle. “Last year, we looked around and saw so many children that we realized we wanted to make sure straight and gay families could fully participate,” says Hudson Pride Foundation executive director Martha Harvey.
Until the formation of Hudson Pride last year, there was no organization in Columbia County devoted to the concerns of the county’s LGBT residents. “Though we are based in Hudson, we want to serve residents of Chatham, Ghent, Hillsdale and Germantown—everybody who lives in the county,” says Harvey, who notes the foundation offers to provide rides for teens without transportation who want to participate in the first Sunday of the month discussion groups at the Hudson Opera House. “We’d like to offer a group for parents, too,” says Harvey, explaining that eliminating homophobia is one of the foundation’s major goals. “There’s still a lot of hate and ignorance out there. But if you can educate a mind, you can open a mind.” she says. “If you open a mind, you can open a heart.” What’s especially remarkable about Hudson Pride’s rapid growth is its grassroots nature and that nearly everyone inovlved is an amateur community organizer. “The only one with organizing experience was Rich Volo, who’s better known as Trixie Starr, who mostly had experience organizing drag queen events. But so many people have been motivated by the momentum that we created last year that this year’s festival is going to be phenomenal. It’s so much bigger than we ever expected.”
Friday June 17
Sunset Cruise 6 - 9 pm (Sold Out)
Moonlight Cruise 9 p.m. - midngiht ($30)
Saturday June 18
Parade on Warren Street noon
Rally at Promenade Hill Park 1 - 4 p.m.
Free Cabaret at Club Helsinki 5 - 10 p.m.
Adult Dance Party with DJ Todd Patterson at Club Helsinki 10 p.m. - 2 a.m. ($10 in advance; $15 at the door)
Over the Rainbow Dance Party for ages 12 - 20
Free admission, drinks and pizza at the Cannonball Factory
Sunday, June 19
Family Pride Day BeLo 3rd Street noon - 4 p.m.