Mayor Eddie Moran announced Wednesday afternoon that he has partnered with Reading Pride Celebration to host the first-ever “Pride March and Rally” in downtown Reading on June 3rd, 2023.
After many years of hosting the Reading Pride Celebration festival in Centre Park, the organization needed a larger venue. The decision was made last year to relocated the event to Jim Dietrich Park in Muhlenberg Township. Mayor Moran initially expressed disappointment in the move, but also pride in the organization’s success.
“Reading Pride made a commitment to myself, City Council, and the community not to forget their original home, and they have certainly stayed true to their word. The organization has evolved to become more than the most significant LGBTQ+ Pride festival in the area but is now making history by bringing the inaugural “Pride March & Rally” to the City of Reading” said Morán.
Reflecting on the importance of unity, Mayor Moran shared, “I always say we are each other’s neighbors, and this march makes that statement more relevant than ever. As Mayor, one of the most rewarding aspects of this job is having the opportunity to celebrate the diversity in our wonderful city. The LGBTQ+ community is among the most diverse communities in the world, with members of every race, gender, nationality, religion, and political affiliation, just to name a few. For the past 16 years, Reading Pride Celebration has been at the forefront of championing this diversity and fostering inclusivity.”
The inaugural event aims to stand against the attacks on the trans, BIPOC, and drag communities across the country while fostering unity within the local community.
The march will begin with a flag raising at Reading City Hall, 815 Washington Street, at 10am, followed by marchers lined up on North 9th Street between Washington and Penn Street.
The march will travel up Penn Street to City Park, where it will conclude with a Pride Picnic and Rally. Marchers and spectators are encouraged to wear or display something supporting the Drag, BIPOC and Trans community. The organization suggests heels, wigs, gowns, flags.
Those attending the Rally and Picnic after are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket. City Park festivities include music, fun activities and lite food and soft drinks provided free by Reading Pride (donations appreciated).
“I express gratitude for the opportunity to partner with Reading Pride in this march and rally, acknowledging the organization’s dedication to celebrating and supporting one another,” said Mayor Moran. “It is my hope that the community will join us in making history at the first Pride march and come together with LGBTQ+ individuals and allies to celebrate and embrace the diversity within us all.” Mayor Moran continued, “We have witnessed the incredible celebrations at their festivals, and I look forward to seeing what they have in store on June 3rd. As always, we are each other’s neighbors, and I am proud to be yours. I hope to see you there.”