WE ARE HOMETOWN NEWS.

CHICOPEE — Chicopee Pride Fest 2024 is set to take place on Saturday, June 15 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It will once again take place at Szot Park after moving the event there last year to accommodate to the growing popularity.

The event is free and open to everyone. There will be vendors, performers, food, drinks and more.

“We’re looking at a more variety of food trucks and more vendors than last year so bigger and better is definitely our continued effort,” said Chicopee Pride Fest Chairperson Emarie Leatherwood, who helped organize the event.

There will also be some speakers, a poet, drag performers and a DJ for some music.

“We have plenty of outdoor fun,” Leatherwood added.

For the second year in a row, the event will also have a sensory tent.

Leatherwood explained, “The purpose of that is to provide a safe space for those with auditory or visual stimulation where they get overstimulated. We have earbuds and it’s an enclosed tent away from the DJ and music to provide that safe space.”

When it comes to being able to celebrate Chicopee Pride, Leatherwood shared what one of the purposes of the event is.

“I’m looking forward to seeing people enjoy the day. The ability for individuals of the LGBTQ+ community to have visibility, to feel accepted and included and seen,” Leatherwood added.

Chicopee also hosted a pride flag raising ceremony on June 5 at the commons in front of City Hall to show their continued support and commitment to being an inclusive and diverse city.

Leatherwood wanted to thank a few organizations and groups before the event took place this year.

“Thank you to the city of Chicopee and different departments within the city that the Planning Committee works with to ensure a safe and fun event for our community as well as thank you to Chicopee Cultural Council and Massachusetts Cultural Council. Without their support all together, this would not be bigger and better as we continue to move forward with that,” Leatherwood concluded.

Mayor John Vieau talked about how this event represents the inclusivity of Chicopee.

He said, “Chicopee’s commitment to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment is at the forefront of our community initiatives. The Pride event at Szot Park is a celebration of this spirit, where we come together to support the LGBTQA+ community, but the shared values that unite us all as one city.”

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