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Queens Chronicle

Pride coming back to Jackson Heights

Queens committee gears up for 22nd annual parade and festival

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Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:53 am, Thu Jun 5, 2014.

Jackson Heights will be full of pride on June 1st when the 2014 Queens Pride Parade and Festival hits the streets.

The event, sponsored by the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee, has drawn thousands of people to the 37th Avenue area to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community for two decades.

The parade will kick off at 85th Street and 37th Avenue at noon and marchers will follow the avenue to 75th Street, where participants and attendees can enjoy the festival.

During the event, the committee will give out Queenie Awards in a variety of categories.

The categories are: The Screaming Theme Award — which goes to the group that best illustrates this year’s theme, “A World of Pride;” The Drag Race Award for the best drag performance; The Rainbow Award for best use of color; The Screaming Queens Award for the group with the best sound; The Toast of Queens Award for the bar, club or business with the best representation and The Simply the Best Award.

The festival will take place on 37th Road between 74th and 77th streets and will go on from 12 to 6 p.m.

The first Queens Pride march was held in 1993, and it has since grown to attract more than 40,000 spectators and is the second largest Pride celebration in the city — the first being the parade in Manhattan.

This year, the grand marshals are the members of the City Council LGBT Caucus, which includes Councilmembers Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan), Carlos Menchaca (D-Brooklyn), Rosie Mendez (D-Manhattan), Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx) and Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside).

Melissa Sklarz, a Democratic district leader in Manhattan and the first transgender person elected to public office, and Chutney Pride — a group that unites LGBTQ individuals of Caribbean descent — will also serve as grand marshals.

For those looking to celebrate their pride a little early, the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee is also sponsoring the Fourth Annual Pre-Pride Party at Studio Square at 35-33 36 St. in Long Island City from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 29.

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