ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — June may be Pride month, but in Rochester, you’ll find events celebrating the LGBQT+ community, throughout the entire summer and beyond.

That includes the festival and parade, both making a return for the first time in two years.

The parade will be held on Saturday, July 16 at 1 p.m., and will go down Park Avenue. The festival will take place at Cobbs Hill Park from 1p.m. through 8 p.m.  

A long-awaited moment, for organizers. But also a major milestone. This year marks 50 years since the first organized pride events were held in Rochester.

Sam Brett, Co-Chair of Roc Pride Collective, has been participating since the 90s.

“I was a student at RIT,” Brett said. “You were hooked, right, you go to every parade after that,” he said.

About 15 years ago, he started as a volunteer. And part of the journey, he says, has always been giving back. The event partners with local organizations, like Trillium Health.

ESL Federal Credit Union and Trillium Health are presenting sponsors this year.

“LGBTQ health is written In our mission statement,” said Susanna Speed, Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Trillium Health. “Trillium has a leadership role in that; many, many, folks coming together, the senior group, LGBTQ Rochester together group, just many folks passionate about Pride, like Sam.”

She says it’s more than just the festival and parade.

There are over 50 events planned throughout the summer.

And even during the pandemic, Speed says the Pride community persisted, found moments of togetherness, and invited others in.

“Pride has always happened, folks think about just the festival and parade, but pride is more than just that,” she said.

This year, the two say they’re focusing on Pride History — and encouraging others to join the fun.

“We have a long history of representation in our community,” said Brett.

“Pride is not just for LGBTQ+ people right, it’s for the friends and family who love us, folks who are strong allies, we always encourage folks to come to Pride, because our community is truly unique, built up of many identities,” said Speed.

“Trillium Health began as a small HIV/AIDS clinic in the 1980’s, and we’re proud of our legacy as the leading LGBTQ+ healthcare provider in Rochester,” said Andrea DeMeo, President and CEO of Trillium Health. “We’re excited to be a major supporter of Rochester Pride and its signature events, especially during the 50th Anniversary of the first Pride in Rochester.”

General admission tickets are $5 and can be purchased in advance or on the day of the event. There are also a limited number of VIP tickets on sale for $50, which includes access to a VIP tent with liquor sales and a private bathroom. 

Click here for more Pride events held throughout the summer in Rochester.