BUFFALO, N.Y. — For the first time since 2019, the Pride Parade marched down its usual route along Elmwood Avenue.
It allowed groups of people across Buffalo and Western New York to celebrate an event that had not taken place the last two years, because of the COVID pandemic.
It also was a reminder, in the midst of heartache and continued grieving, that love, inclusivity and unity still matter.
The parade along Elmwood Avenue began at Forest Avenue and ended at Allen Street. It was followed by a festival at Canalside that included family activities, vendors, live music, food and drink.
The parade itself last three and a half hours, according to the City of Buffalo, which added that a record number of people participated and attended in the event, which has been around since 1993.
This year, more than 150 organizations participated, including Team 2 and our Storm Tracker.
Pride Week was celebrated from May 31 to June 5.
“Each year, Pride Month and Pride Week are opportunities to find strength through love, inclusivity and unity, three things that have been especially needed during the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to Justin Azzarella, who is the chief strategy officer at Evergreen Health.
“Pride has been held virtually and at home for the past two years, and so a safe return of public events is a highly-anticipated ‘Homecoming’ for the LGBTQ+ community. We are so excited that the Parade and Festival are back and we’ll joyfully reunite to uplift LGBTQ+ people and celebrate being in-person once again.”