Organizers considering rescheduling Pride

Pride at Penn's Landing, pre-pandemic 2019.

Philly Pride Presents is looking into changing the date for its upcoming Pride Parade and Festival. This potential change comes as the result of the National Pride March being held the same weekend in Washington, D.C.

The National Pride March began as an event on Facebook and grew to have more than 30,000 confirmed guests and more than 107,000 designated as “interested.” However, a number of Pride organizations have expressed concerns regarding the march being held June 11, the same date as their respective Pride events. Philadelphia’s organization is one of the concerned groups.

Pride organizations from around the country participated in conference calls to discuss concerns with their events. According to meeting minutes from a Jan. 31 conference call, “Sponsors, vendors, volunteers and honored guests have begun cancelling their agreements and declining invitations to local Pride events to participate instead in [the] National March.”

Franny Price, executive director of Philly Pride Presents, said that so far only one food vendor backed out of participating due to expecting a lack of attendance. Meanwhile, a float company the organization worked with in the past has expressed concerns regarding transportation if the Pride date changes.

“We work with a lot of different vendors that day that help make Pride happen,” Price said. “We’re working with them to see if they can still do what they do for us on a different day.”

According to conference-call minutes, Pride leaders suggested the organizers for the National March should change the date. Some participants in the call contended that no significant planning has happened for the march other than the creation of a Facebook event, which suggests no costs have been incurred.

Chuck Volz, senior advisor to Philly Pride Presents, said the organizers of the march could have worked with other Pride organizers to coordinate solidarity events coinciding with the march. However, Volz still anticipates issues with Philadelphia being in close proximity to Washington, D.C.

“That works for Alabama and that works for Los Angeles. It doesn’t work in Philadelphia when you can go to the National March two hours away,” Volz said.

Volz also noted how Philly Pride’s original June 11 date did not interfere with other events in Philadelphia or with other Pride organizations.

“Once we move, it would set an avalanche of everybody having to reschedule,” Volz said. “That’s part of the problem.”

David Kilmnick from Long Island Pride, who spearheaded the conference calls, expressed concern that the march could take people away from their local communities. He said, “Change needs to happen at the local level, particularly in these times.

“When you take people away from their local community, [it affects] that young kid who’s still not out of the closet, who needs to see people marching in their own hometowns for a sense of empowerment and pride,” Kilmnick said.

Philly Pride Presents is still weighing the potential date change. As of presstime, the Pride Parade and Festival is still scheduled for June 11 at Penn’s Landing.

Organizers for the National Pride March declined to comment for this story.