Cazenovia to host second annual Pride Fest, inaugural Pride Parade – Eagle News Online

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The second annual Cazenovia Pride Fest will be held June 17-19 at various locations. The theme of this year’s celebration is “All in this Together.” (Submitted)
CAZENOVIA — This June, Cazenovia will celebrate Pride Month with the second annual Pride Fest Weekend from June 17-19.
This year’s festivities were organized by Travis Barr, Meg Tobin, Lori Lewis, Alison Boissonnas, Kate Schwartz, and Tammy Tanner.
Leading up to the celebration, Cazenovia Pride will present “Story Hour with Anita Buffem” in the Cazenovia Public Library (CPL) Community Room on Saturday, June 4, at 11 a.m.
Barr, in drag as Buffem, will be reading two empowering children’s books, “Not Quite Narwhal” by Jessie Sima and “Dolls and Trucks are for Everyone” by Robb Pearlman. The event will also feature rainbow themed crafts. This story hour is not sponsored by CPL.
“I think we all benefit from a feeling of being uplifted and loved,” said Barr. “No matter who you are, how you identify, or where you come from, you are important and have a very special place in this world. You are needed in this community, and what makes you unique is exactly what is needed here. My hope is that our local youth feel and believe that. The stats for suicide, homelessness, and trafficking disproportionately affect LGBTQ+ youth, and we can combat that by educating our community and most importantly by empowering all our kids.”
On Thursday, June 16, Meier’s Creek Brewing Company will host “Drag Queen Bingo with Anita Buffem.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and games start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5, and all proceeds will benefit Caz Pride. Reserve tickets at hgreysupplyco.com.
Pride Fest will officially begin on Friday, June 17, at 4:30 p.m., with “Reading with Purpose” at Purpose Coffee Co.
Reading with Purpose is a new, ongoing series of story times that allow families to connect over coffee and chocolate milk while the “Brew Crew” reads stories.
The June 17 session will feature kid-friendly books related to Pride, as well as baked goods and coffee house drinks available for purchase. The event is free and open to all.
The event will be followed by a “Pride Fest Family Kickoff” at 6 p.m. at Madison County Distillery.
On Saturday, June 18, at noon, Cazenovia’s first Pride Parade will assemble from 11 to 11:30 a.m. behind CPL. All are welcome to walk. Groups, businesses, and organizations can register at HGreySupplyCo.com/CazPride.
The parade will step off at noon and make its way along Albany Street to Lakeland Park, where Buffem and DJ Amanda of We Heart CNY will host the Pride Fest celebration. The event will begin at 1 p.m. and feature performances, food trucks, lawn games, and the presentation of “The Amy Bradstreet Ally Award” at 3 p.m.
During last year’s festivities, the ally award was posthumously presented to former Cazenovia community member Amy Bradstreet, who was killed at her home in 2014.
Bradstreet was the daughter of former Nelson Town Supervisor Roger Bradstreet and his wife, Bonnie.
Barr created the award to honor Bradstreet and her family for the role they played in his youth and in shaping who he is today.
“Amy made me feel like I was one of the cool kids,” he said. “She showed me that love abounds, and joy is abundant, you just have to choose it. She gave me a feeling of confidence and belonging that has stuck with me to this day. It is so important to continue Amy’s legacy by honoring another member of the community who radiates that positivity and support just by being who they are. Through honoring our allies, we not only thank them but also highlight how essential and normal it is to be an ally. And maybe we will inspire non-allies to evolve and realize the import role they play in our kids’ lives.”
Throughout the day on Saturday, community members are encouraged to “chalk the walk” on Albany Street with messages of love and Pride.
The Brae Loch Inn will also be hosting an Absolute Vodka-sponsored event on Saturday starting at noon on the lawn. Absolute Vodka will be handing out samples of drinks made with “Absolute Pride.”
Pride Fest Weekend will conclude on Sunday, June 19, with the “All in this Together Family Brunch,” beginning at 8 a.m. at Pewter Spoon.
The café’s second annual family brunch will feature cider mimosas made with Critz Farms’ Rippleton series champagne style cider.
“No matter what your family looks like or who you consider your family, come together with people you love to celebrate Pride weekend and [being] your true self,” said Pewter Spoon Co-manager Dana Carmeli. “We love all the unique families that come through our doors and spend time just talking, laughing, and catching up with one another. Being that spot in the community is really special, and we’re so glad we have people in the community working to organize this wonderful event for year two.”
Loka Leaf Tea Lounge will be extending its hours (opening at 10 a.m.) to join in the celebration as well.
According to Barr, who co-owns H. Grey Supply Co. with his partner Alex Altomonte, the theme of this year’s Pride Fest is “All in this Together.”
“Cazenovia Pride was founded on the mission of bringing us all together through love and uplifting everyone in our community,” he said. “We felt that ‘All in this Together’ is the perfect message with what we have all been through the last few years. The pandemic, war in Ukraine, all the terrifying anti-LGBTQ legislation throughout the country — the things that divide us are actually the things we all have in common. ‘All in this Together’ expounds upon last year’s theme, ‘Everyone is Welcome Here.’ We’re excited to continue to create positivity and love and community through Cazenovia Pride events.”
Donations to “Cazenovia Pride” can be made at hgreysupplyco.com to support the creation of inclusive events for everyone in the community.
 
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© 2021 Community Media Group, LLC – 2501 James St. Syracuse, NY 13206
© 2021 Community Media Group, LLC – 2501 James St. Syracuse, NY 13206
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