The Long Island Pride festival kicks off Friday with a weekend full of LGBT concerts, a parade and other events in Long Beach running through Sunday.
The function kicks off with the GSA Mixer at the Long Beach Recreation Center Friday morning and a host of other activities, including a Pride Shabbat at Temple Eman-U-El.
“We won the right to actually just march down the streets of Long Island in Huntington and it really was one of the most empowering things I’ve ever experienced,” Long Island LGBT Network Chief Executive Officer David Kilmnick told reporters Thursday during a news conference on the Long Beach board walk. “Now that was one of the most powerful things I’ve ever experienced 27 years ago. I think that feeling is going to be surpassed this weekend when we see the celebration happen over three days in Long Beach.”
The events will be in full swing Saturday with the first-ever Pride Boat Parade by the Knickerbocker Sailing Association, featuring sailboats with rainbow sails. Additionally, there will be a Beach Party featuring DJ Zeke Thomas and DJ MARYMACK, Madonna’s former DJ and Pride Cabaret Show.
The festivities resume Sunday morning with hundreds of vendors, including nonprofits, shops and unions having booths for visitors to check-out. The last day of the weekend will also feature the 27th annual Pride Parade, which will mark the first-time Boy Scouts will unite with other marchers to stride down Laurelton and West Broadway up to Long Beach Road.
Sunday will also feature a Beach Concert with Rachel Platten, the Lady Gaga Experience, Nick Tangorra and the Janes, a local girl group that will start the show.
There will also be some somber events. On Sunday, surfers will join in a memorial paddle out for the Pulse nightclub victims in advance of the first anniversary of the massacre, which falls on Monday. Each surfer will represent one of the 49 victims of the attack, organizers said. As they move out, people will line the shorelines with flowers and toss them out to the ocean.
On the lighter side, all weekend long will feature a “Taste of Long Beach” of more than 60 local businesses that will provide discounts to visitors. Some vendors will feature pride-related products like rainbow bagels and pizza.
The town will also provide free parking in the Long Island Rail Road lot all weekend and extra bus and trolley service. For more information, visit prideonthebeach.org See below for a full schedule of events.