I was the editor at the now-defunct New Hope Gazette when Dan Brooks asked for my help in promoting an event he was organizing in New Hope. There were so many moving parts, I had a hard time keeping track. But his vision was clear enough. Dan was officially putting New Hope on the map as a place where diversity isn’t only embraced, it’s celebrated. Who could have known how necessary that message would become? The 17th annual New Hope Celebrates PrideFest opens May 11 and runs through May 19. This is a quick guide to the cornerstone events, but there will be plenty of other stuff going on. So make a point to get involved. We could all use a little more community in our lives these days.
Pride Parade | May 18
It’s hard to grasp just how large and encompassing New Hope Celebrates PrideFest has become until you’re sitting on a curb watching the Pride Parade pass by and seemingly stretch on for miles. Yeah, it’s loud and proud, and rightfully so, but it’s mostly understated and inspiring. Think marching church groups, and politicians, and local business owners, and kids.
The parade will meander its way through Lambertville before crossing the bridge into New Hope. You can follow the masses and their folding lawn chairs, but a better idea is arriving a little early—it starts at 11:30 AM—and claiming a spot at one of the three staging areas:
- The Lambertville House, just off the corner of Bridge and Union streets, in Lambertville
- The cannon, Ferry and South Main streets, New Hope
- Le Chateau Exotique, 97 South Main Street, New Hope
PrideFair | May 18
PrideFair kicks off in the American Legion parking lot, at the end of South Main Street in New Hope, immediately after the parade finishes and runs until 4 PM. There’s a $5-suggested donation to enter.
There will be a slew of vendors, plenty to eat and drink (including adult beverages), live music, and a steady procession of drag queens. The vibe is very much small-town festival (kids under 10 get in free): nonprofits hosting games of chance, local favorites sharing the stage with aspiring rock stars from the Doylestown School of Rock, tables full of artisan jewelry.
Pride Sunday Funday | May 19
It wouldn’t be PrideFest—or really any weekend in the summer in New Hope—without a blowout T-dance and pool party to close it out. It starts at 2:30 PM. Note the location: It’s at the Clarion, not The Raven.
There will be a poolside DJ, a live performance by Sapphire Crystal, tiny bathing suits, and stiff cocktails.