ROCHESTER, ONTARIO COUNTY, N.Y. (WROC) — June is known as Pride Month, but in Rochester it’s celebrated during the third weekend of July.
Even amid nonstop rain on Saturday, several outdoor events got underway to commemorate Pride.
“We had a year where we didn’t get to do pride, so rain or not, we’re going to party hard and have a great time,” David Chappius, organizer with Roar’s Pride celebration said.
Support for Rochester’s Pride celebration has proven to be largely followed by local communities and this year was no different.
“To look around and see all these people out when you couldn’t even go out for a while, it’s refreshing,” drag queen Vanessa Lerux said.
For every VIP ticket sold, ten dollars went to the Center for Youth – an organization supporting homeless children and teens.
Chappius believes a big part of the festival is giving back to the community in some way.
“That’s important for us to support a cause and we sold out VIP in a week,” Chappius said.
Many in attendance celebrated alongside a diverse community that accepts them for who they are.
“Just the melting pot of all these different cultures and backgrounds coming together to celebrate love,” Lerux said.
Over in Ontario County, a similar gathering was hosted by a suburban-based activist groups.
“Part of our group is mutual aid, so when we collaborated we wanted to make sure we offered free food,” Tiffany Porter with Black in the Burbs said. “Also I’m queer so I thought we had the need to come out to Ontario County.” .
Organizations like Trillium Health and Food not Bombs showed up in support and sponsorship for the event.
“This is funded by the community and for the community and so its an entirely free event,” Mike (Spider) Gamms of Justice League of Queers said. “We’re here for queer liberation and that’s why that’s in the middle of our sign, front and center, and we are unapologetic about that mission.”
The ROAR event is being held until 10 p.m. and the Ontario County event will be running until 7 p.m.