Hoboken continues to lead the way in taking pride in its inclusionary policies. Mayor Ravi Bhalla is inviting Hoboken community members to celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride Month this June with the City of Hoboken, announcing a series of events for the public to enjoy. Through a partnership with Hudson Pride Center, the Hoboken Public Library, the Hoboken Business Alliance, Bike Hoboken, and Fleet Feet, the City will host a series of family-friendly events to honor and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community.
“It is more important than ever before that we work together to welcome and celebrate our LGBTQIA+ community which continues to fight for equality in states across the country,” said Mayor Bhalla. “I personally invite and encourage everyone to join us as we honor our LGBTQIA+ community and reaffirm our commitment to be a fair and welcoming community.”
“We are so excited that Hoboken is taking a lead role in June Pride month for Hudson County by hosting several major pride activities this year,” said Elizabeth Schedl, Executive Director of Hudson Pride Center. “Historically, Pride has always been about human rights and empowering LGBTQ+ individuals in reclaiming their rights and freedoms as well as the public spaces that are often denied to us. The importance of visibility and support has never been greater. With over 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in state legislatures across this country, it is clear some are going to considerable lengths to put LGBTQ+ people at the margins of society. I do, however, believe change is possible, even when homophobic and transphobic attitudes exist. And that change and support starts with cities like Hoboken, supporting, celebrating, and protecting its LGBTQ+ citizens.”
The City will kick off the festivities with an LGBTQIA+ Pride flag-raising ceremony on Thursday, June 1, at 11 a.m. at City Hall, 94 Washington St. Then, on Friday, June 2, at 5 p.m., the City will host a Pride Picnic at Columbus Park, located at Ninth and Clinton Streets. Residents are invited to bring a blanket, low-back chair, and their picnic basket to dine alfresco with their friends and neighbors. Kids will also be able to enjoy a rainbow-themed craft table.
The City’s annual LGBTQIA+ Pride painting event will be on Sunday, June 4, at 8 a.m. at Newark and Washington Streets. Residents will paint the crosswalk in Pride colors. Those interested in participating must be 18 years old or older and pre-register with the Office of Constituent Services by emailing Nora Martínez DeBenedetto at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Hoboken celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride by building bridges with love, dignity, and friendship, one heart at a time and by working with community members to organize Pride events throughout the City,” said Laura Knittel, Hoboken’s LGBTQIA + Liaison. “During these challenging times, I urge my LGBTQ+ community, friends, and family to hold their hearts high with pride and unwavering self-respect and ask you to let your love for others be your guiding light as you live without shame as equal human beings. In moments of fear, I encourage you to take action by engaging, connecting, and educating others, and by standing firm in your commitment to live each day with strength and resilience. Thank you to Mayor Bhalla, the entire City of Hoboken, its leadership, and our friends and alliances for fostering change and providing us with a safe and dignified home where love knows no boundaries.”
On Saturday, June 17, join the City and Hoboken Public Library for the Banned Books Read-a-Thon. Special guest readers will read books that have been “banned” across the country at several locations throughout the City. The read-a-thon will begin at Church Square Park at 11 a.m. with a Drag Queen Story hour with Harmonica Sunbeam. For more information, go to http://bit.ly/PrideReadBannedBooks.
“We are so proud to be part of a vibrant city that celebrates all voices and treasures the freedom to read. It is vital to recognize that the freedom to read is not just an individual right, but a cornerstone of our democracy,” said Jennie Pu, Director of the Hoboken Public Library. “Join the Library this Pride Month for our Banned Books Read-a-Thon, as we pedal our book bike to all four corners of our mile square city, spreading the joy of reading freely and celebrating our diverse community.”
On Saturday, June 24, join the Pride 5k Fun Run sponsored by Fleet Feet, in honor of their 20th anniversary of doing business in the City of Hoboken, and the Hoboken Business Alliance. The 5k will start at 9 a.m. at Pier A Park and run along the Hoboken waterfront. Donations will be collected for the Hudson Pride Center. To learn more and pre-register, go to hobokennj.gov/pride-run.
“Fleet Feet is proud to partner with the Hudson Pride Center and Hoboken City Hall to offer this 5k run/walk in celebration of Pride Month,” said Fleet Feet owner Shawn Marlovits.
“Hoboken’s Pride Month celebrations will not only serve to recognize that love is love, but also to celebrate the role our local LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs play in making our small business community more vibrant,” said Roxanne Earley, Executive Director of the Hoboken Business Alliance. “We are especially excited that in a month that will be filled with special features, events, and promotions designed make shopping and dining in Hoboken even better, we have the chance to celebrate a milestone anniversary of one of our legacy businesses.”
Through a partnership between the City, Bike Hoboken, and the Hoboken Police Department, the City will host a Pride community bike ride on Sunday, June 25, at 11 a.m. Cyclists interested in participating should meet at the Southwest Resiliency Park at 11 a.m. Bike riders are reminded to wear a helmet.