Brooklyn Pride fest moves down Slope

After years of holding it along Prospect Park West, Brooklyn Pride is moving its 17th annual rainbow-filled extravaganza…

Story by Natalie Musumeci - Source: http://www.brooklynpaper.com
Course change: The yearly Brooklyn Pride festival in Park Slope is moving to Fifth Avenue this June 8 for the 17th annual rainbow-filled extravaganza.  Photo © Stefano Giovannini

Course change: The yearly Brooklyn Pride festival in Park Slope is moving to Fifth Avenue this June 8 for the 17th annual rainbow-filled extravaganza. Photo © Stefano Giovannini

The borough’s famous gay pride celebration has changed course this year to go straight down Park Slope’s booming Fifth Avenue.

After years of holding it along Prospect Park West, Brooklyn Pride is moving its 17th annual rainbow-filled extravaganza celebrating the borough’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities to the trendy thoroughfare this June.

Brooklyn Pride’a Jerry Allred said that the controversial Prospect Park West two-way bike lane was one of the reasons for moving over four avenues to Fifth Avenue, claiming that since its installation, vendors were having a difficult time setting up shop from Ninth Street to 15th Street. In addition, he said, the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District has been wanting the festival to move to the busy thoroughfare for years.

“They added the bike lane and they built these pillar things, so the vendors couldn’t set up around them. It became very hard to do that,” he said, adding that cyclists have complained that the festival blocked the bike lane. “Last year a few people were upset with us.”

Photo © Paul Martinka

Photo © Paul Martinka

Featuring food, shopping, and two stages for live music and other performances, the festival will now be held along Fifth Avenue from Third to Ninth streets. There will even be fun-filled family activities in Fifth Avenue’s J.J. Byrne Playground, said Allred.

The location isn’t the only thing changing at the June 8 event, which is expected to attract more than 25,000 revelers.

The annual nighttime Brooklyn Pride Parade, which is always held on Fifth Avenue, will have a new starting point — Sterling Place — and head in a different direction, ending at Ninth Street.

“We said ‘Why not just change everything around because things get stale after a while,’ ” said Allred.

Borough President Markowitz will serve as the grand marshal of the glitter-centric parade. The Beep, who was the parade’s grand marshal in 2001, the first year he took office, will ride atop his own decked out float.

“He’s leaving office and we think he’s done a great job for Brooklyn as well as for the LGBT community,” said Allred. “He has been a very good supporter of the pride group.”

The extravaganza will kick off at 10 am when 500 people will take a three-mile run through Prospect Park.

Brooklyn Pride in Park Slope. 5K run in Prospect Park, Saturday, June 8 at 10 am; Pride festival on Fifth Avenue between Third and Ninth streets, 11 am–5pm; Pride parade on Fifth Avenue, starts on Sterling Place at 7:30 pm and ends on Ninth Street. www.brooklynpride.org.

 

 

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