The Wonderland Works Company LLC during last year’s Enfield Pride Celebration.

Photo courtesy of Enfield Pride

ENFIELD — On June 15, Enfield Pride will host its second Pride Celebration at Enfield United Church of Christ, consisting of a full day filled with musical entertainment, bounce houses, plenty of food and insightful information.

The celebration kicks off at 10 a.m. with a welcome speech by President Greg Gray and Town Council members Bob Cressotti, Cindy Mangini and John Santanella. Upfront toward Enfield Street will be its community partners and nonprofits, and back toward the parking lot will be a stage with a closing drag show at 3:30 p.m. Performers include Bonnie Petit, Natalia Fierce and Frankie Cyanide-Drag. This year’s headliner and emcee will be Felicity V. Lay. “In three words I would describe this event as exciting, joyful and overwhelming,” said Gray. “It’s going to be bigger this year than it was last year.”

Enfield Pride is an organization that brings community, visibility and advocacy. Originally from Georgia, Gray moved to Enfield four years ago. The initial vision he had for Enfield Pride was to provide space and support for the queer community of Enfield. He also wanted to show the kids of the town that it is indeed possible to be an out queer community leader in the town.

“Over the years we have faced significant pushback both in the town and from the outside,” Gray shared. “Enfield Pride now works to stand against this kind of hate to say that we are here and it’s our town too.”
Gray told Reminder Publishing that last year wasn’t the best weather and the show had to be moved inside the church. However, there were still about 1,200 people that came through during the day and somewhere between 400 and 450 people pouring out of the room for the closing drag show.

At press time, Enfield Pride had about 50 vendors that had signed up and will be selling arts and crafts. Between community partners and vendors, the celebration will have about 80 vendor tents already registered.
The takeaway Gray wants people to experience from this event is that small local Prides are important too.

“When I lived in Georgia, we always go into Atlanta for Pride,” Gray said. “It really didn’t matter where you were even outside the state of Georgia, you would drive into Atlanta for Pride and so I think that’s one of the things we have here in New England as well.”

He continued, “The Boston Pride and Hartford Pride are big, and those cities are always going to have that kind of draw, but it’s important with Enfield Pride with our understanding of community, visibility and advocacy that queer people have a space and reason to celebrate in their hometown. If you’re a resident of Enfield, then this celebration is for you and that you don’t have to leave your hometown to be celebrated as part of the queer community.”

Visit enfieldpride.org for more information. For questions, contact info@enfieldpride.org or go to facebook.com/EnfieldPride.

Other events coming up are Enfield Pride Happy Hour on June 10 at Powder Hollow Brewery from 5-7 p.m. and Pride Never Ends: We Celebrate Pride 365, a Pizza Social on June 29 at Aurora’s Pizza from 5-8 p.m.