Westchester County brings back 'Pride Festival' after three-year hiatus

Jeffrey Guard, from the LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center, says there is so much to do at the festival, like shopping, and food vendors.

News 12 Staff

Jun 5, 2022, 3:20 PM

Updated 718 days ago

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Pride Month celebrations got underway Sunday with a flag raising ceremony at its first Pride Festival in three years. 
Bright colors and smiles could be seen everywhere as hundreds attended the festivities. 
Natalie Garcia said being at the festival “feels really good.” She is bisexual and nonbinary and describes the festival as a safe space. 
“Some people make you feel uncomfortable,” Garcia said. “They make you feel like it’s not OK to be nonbinary, bisexual, gay or whatever you choose to be.” 
Jeffrey Guard, from the LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center, said COVID-19 really affected the LGBTQ+ community in a negative way. So many were not able to connect with others through Pride events. 
“Now to come together, to connect, to heal, to laugh, to just be part of a huge community again is just something so incredibly special for all,” Guard said. 
The festival featured many activities like face painting, shopping, food and performances. 
With so many excited to have the festival back, Garcia offered some advice. 
“It’s OK to be yourself. It’s OK to shine, to be glittery and sparkle,” Garcia said. “There’s nothing wrong with it.” 


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