In an effort to help combat stigma and discrimination faced by the LGBTQ+ community, a number of local service organizations are producing Morris County’s first-ever large scale pride event, aptly named Morris County PRIDE. This family-friendly event will be a fun-filled day featuring live music, vendors, food trucks, children’s activities, community resources, and so much more. The event will run from 10am-5pm on Saturday, June 27th, 2020 at The Central Park of Morris County (Central Ave. and Lathrop Ln., Parsippany-Troy Hills), rain or shine.
Lead organizer Cara Parmigiani of Morris Plains felt that the time was right for Morris County to have a Pride event of its own. “I was so impressed by the spirit of North Jersey Pride,” says Parmigiani, “and I wanted to bring something like it to Morris County.”
Her idea turned into a reality this year after connecting with EDGE Pride Center, the first and only LGBTQ+ center in Morris County. Now, with the support of the EDGE and other local community groups and volunteers, Morris County PRIDE is ready to offer the LGBTQ+ community and their allies and families a beautiful day filled with great music, entertainment, education, food, and fun. For Parmigiani, making the event family friendly is essential: “We’re working with teens and college students to schedule programs and entertainment they’ll love, and we’re also going to make sure our smallest attendees have crafts, face-painting, story time, and more.”
The full roster of entertainment and vendors will be announced in early June on the Morris County Pride’s website, www.morriscountypride.org.
Volunteer Andy Skurna encourages everyone interested in PRIDE to follow along on social media and sign up for the MC PRIDE’s e-newsletter (via Opportunities on our website or our Facebook page), “We’ll be sharing announcements about special guests and other exciting programming. This is our first year, and we really want to make sure we’re getting the word out to everyone across the county.”
While the list of community groups and sponsors supporting Morris County PRIDE continues to grow, the current roster includes the EDGE Pride Center, Gay Activist Alliance of Morris County, Moms Demand Action, TriVersity Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity, LIFE Center Stage, and Rainbow Café Morris.
To guarantee an exciting start of the day, the Morris County PRIDE Run, hosted and produced by EDGE Pride Center, will be held the morning of Morris County PRIDE. Hundreds of people throughout the Morris County area will run in solidarity in an effort to support the LGBTQ+ community right here at home.
“We are so fortunate to be able to produce the Pride Run in conjunction with Morris County Pride because now more than ever, we need help to save the lives of our LGBTQ+ community. Those participating will be running in solidarity in an effort to support the LGBTQ+ community right here at home. This Run sends a clear message that we won’t allow the healthcare needs of this population to be forgotten,” says Sean Dorsa of the EDGE Pride Center.
Adds Parmiagiani, “We’re hoping to give all the runners an enthusiastic welcome as they cross that finish line—and, hopefully, they’ll head right over to the festival area to experience a celebratory day at Morris County PRIDE.”
Rachel Kempster Barry