2015-05-27 / Features

De Blasio, APICHA Chosen As Pride Parade Grand Marshals


Mayor Bill de Blasio (r.) marches in the 2014 Queens Pride Parade alongside Queens Pride founder and Councilman Daniel Dromm (l.). De Blasio was the first mayor to march in the parade in its 23-year history and will serve as the 2015 Grand Marshal. Multi- Platinum winner CeCe Peniston is the headlining entertainer. Mayor Bill de Blasio (r.) marches in the 2014 Queens Pride Parade alongside Queens Pride founder and Councilman Daniel Dromm (l.). De Blasio was the first mayor to march in the parade in its 23-year history and will serve as the 2015 Grand Marshal. Multi- Platinum winner CeCe Peniston is the headlining entertainer. Queens Pride will celebrate the 23rd Pride Parade and Festival on Sunday, June 7 in Jackson Heights. “This year’s theme, ‘Pride – Strength – Unity’ highlights the diversity that is Queens. Queens has the largest number of language/ethnic groups in the whole USA. Despite this linguistic and cultural vastness, we all come together to celebrate our accomplishments and continue to work towards further advancements” said Alan Reiff, Co-Chair, Queens Pride.

The parade’s Grand Marshals will include Mayor Bill de Blasio and APICHA Health Center. De Blasio was the first Mayor to march in a Queens Pride Parade (2014), as well as having a strong stance on increasing LGBT rights and inclusion in the city. Multi-Platinum singer CeCe Peniston will headline the festival celebrating the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community in Queens.

Councilman Daniel Dromm said,“When I founded the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee over 20 years ago, I was hopeful that we would increase the visibility of the LGBT community in Queens in a positive and impactful way. Having the Mayor of the City of New York as our Grand Marshal shows just how far we have come. The Mayor’s presence is an acknowledgment that the LGBT community in Queens and throughout the city is visible, welcome and included. I’m very proud of all the people who pour countless volunteer hours into making this event so special every year. I look forward to many more years of this celebration of LGBT pride in Queens.”

APICHA community health center provides compassionate, comprehensive and culturally competent healthcare and wellness services to underserved and vulnerable people living in the city. Their care programs started out serving Asian Pacific Islanders and the LGBTQI Community living with HIV/AIDS. The organization now serves a broader citywide clientele and seeks to expand their services.

“Our Grand Marshals reflect our inclusivity as a community, from the top of city government to some of the most marginalized individuals – all are celebrated” said Andrew Ronan, Co-Chair, Queens Pride.

The Parade kicks off at noon, on Sunday June 7, at 89th Street and 37th Avenue, and proceeds along 37th Avenue to 75th Street. Marcus Woollen and Candy Samples will host a reviewing stand in front of the Jackson Heights Post Office.

The Festival also begins at noon, with nearly 100 vendors along 37th Road, from 74th to 77th Street. Two stages will feature entertainment throughout the day with performances by a variety of artists.

This year’s featured performer on the Queens Pride stage is multi-Platinum recording artist, CeCe Peniston. Her hits include “Finally,” “We Got a Love Thang,” “Keep on Walkin,” “I’m Not Over You” and her hit single released in 2001, “Lifetime to Love.”

On Thursday, June 4 from 6 to 9 pm, Queens Pride, in collaboration with NYC Pride, Brooklyn Pride, Staten Island LGBT Community Center, Bronx Pride, Chutney Pride and Out Astoria, will host a Pride Kick-Off Party at Studio Square in Long Island City (35-33 36th Street). The event will benefit Queens Community House and their efforts in supporting the LGBTQI community.

For more information on Queens Pride, visit www.queenspride.org or email, info@queenspride.org.

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