Over 1000 marchers expected for Franklin County Pride parade

Over 1000 marchers expected for Franklin County Pride parade

Over 1000 marchers are expected to participate in the Franklin County Pride parade, a vibrant and inclusive event that celebrates diversity and community spirit. The parade, which has become a staple in the local calendar, will see participants from various schools, organizations, businesses, government entities, and community groups. An estimated 2,500 spectators are anticipated to line the streets to cheer on the marchers.

The parade route will take participants down Federal Street, turning right onto Main Street, and then left to Energy Park in downtown Greenfield. The community is encouraged to gather along the route to watch and support the parade. The event promises a lively atmosphere with multiple groups and performers providing musical entertainment, including drummers, horn players, and DJs playing festive pop music.

Following the parade, the Franklin County Pride Festival will take place, with Miles Street down to Energy Park closed off for the festivities. The festival will feature a variety of vendors representing community organizations, businesses, and crafts/merchandise. Food trucks, including Holyoke Hummus and vendors offering hamburgers and hot dogs, will be stationed in the Energy Park parking lot. Crooked Stick Popsicles will also be available in the park.

Mesa Verde will provide a water station at their restaurant on Mile Street, and there will be another water station in the park, offering free water to attendees. The festival will also include musical acts, circus performers, and a face painter in the pocket park. The main stage in Energy Park will host musical performances and speakers, with ASL interpreters signing throughout the festival to ensure accessibility.

Due to the closure of Miles Street, there will be no parking available at Energy Park or along Miles Street during the event. However, multiple port-a-johns, including a handicap-accessible bathroom, will be stationed at Energy Park and at the top of Miles Street. Golf carts will be available to assist those with mobility challenges, transporting them directly to Energy Park and back up to Miles Street.

A tent near the water station in Energy Park will be set up for child feeding and changing, providing a comfortable space for families. Additionally, a large tent with chairs will be available in Energy Park for attendees to sit in the shade, though seating is limited, and attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs. The large lawn in front of the stage in Energy Park will also be available for seating.

Recognizing the historical relationship between the LGBTQIA+ community and the police, the Franklin County Pride Committee has collaborated with the Greenfield Police Department to ensure a supportive and safe environment for all participants. Police will be present to direct traffic on Federal and Main Street, and one officer will be stationed at Energy Park due to the high expected attendance. Volunteer Peacekeepers will also be present at the rally to help create a safe space.

The Franklin County Pride parade and festival aim to be a welcoming and inclusive event for all. Organizers, identifiable by their purple “Organizer” shirts, will be available to address any concerns or observations from attendees. The event promises to be a joyous celebration of diversity, community, and pride.

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