May 22, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
In 2014, more than two decades after the Queens Pride Parade was born, Mayor Bill de Blasio became the first mayor to march in the event; this year, he will lead the parade as a Grand Marshal.
Sharing that title will be APICHA Health Center, a Manhattan-based organization LGBT healthcare provider that serves underserved communities.
The annual parade kicks off June 7 at noon from 89th Street and 37th Avenue, ending at 75th Street.
For organizers, De Blasio’s role as Grand Marshal marks an important moment for the local and citywide LGBT community.
“Our Grand Marshals reflect our inclusivity as a community, from the top of City government to some of the most marginalized individuals,” Andrew Ronan, Queens Pride co-chair, said.
“Having the Mayor of the City of New York as our Grand Marshal shows just how far we have come,” Councilman Daniel Dromm, who founded the parade in 1993, said. “The Mayor’s presence is an acknowledgment that the LGBT community in Queens and throughout the city is visible, welcome and included.”
As the Queens Pride Parade marches down 37th Avenue, a street festival with about 100 vendors will also take place on 37th Road between 77th and 74th Streets, accompanied by live music throughout the day.
Ahead of the Parade, on June 4, a group of pride committees from across the City will co-host a Pride Kick-off Party at Long Island City’s Studio Square beer garden. Running from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the event will benefit the Queens Community House.