Ever since the very first Gay Pride March in New York City in 1970, pride celebrations has been known as an urban phenomenon, with people flocking to larger cities to celebrate with parades, festivals, music, shows and other activities.
But gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and gender-questioning folks lives everywhere, from small towns and rural communities to the suburbs and large metropolitan areas.
Geneva resident Amy Hickey knows this as well as anyone, and she wanted to create a way for the Finger Lakes LGBTQ community to celebrate right at home, rather than traveling to Rochester, New York City or some other larger metropolitan region.
Three years ago she founded The (LGBTQ) Center of the Finger Lakes in Geneva. This year, The Center is hosting its first-ever Finger Lakes Pride Festival Saturday, May 30, from 1 to 9 p.m. in the Seneca Street parking lot in downtown Geneva, across from the Smith Opera House.
According to Hickey, who is The Center’s executive director, this is the first pride celebration ever in Ontario County.
Think you have to be gay to go? No way, says Hickey. The family-friendly festival is designed to celebrate and entertain everyone.
“It is important for both sides, for the community at large to see that we are their neighbors, and to celebrate our straight allies for their support.
Here is the lineup for Saturday.
1 to 3p.m.: Family Festival. Bring the kids and grandparents. Lots of family-friendly activities, from mural painting, arts and crafts, skateboarding lessons, face painting and pet adoption station.
3 to 7 p.m.: Wine and beer tastings feature local wineries and breweries.
7 p.m. Drag Show hosted by Ginger “Gigi” Diamond, followed by a DJ dance party.
Throughout the day, there will be live music, food vendors and food trucks.
Admission is $10 for adults 21 and older (and that includes wine tastings), $5 for ages 13-20, and free for kids 12 and younger. All proceeds go towards programming at the LGBTQ Center of the Finger Lakes.
Also on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon, The Good, the Bad and the Funny, a free open mic celebration of being Trans and Gender Variant, takes place at the Finger Lakes Gifts and Lounge, 60 Seneca St., Geneva.