Game on! Pride Parade and Pride Festival 2022

Could there be a better year to host a Pride event? With so many scary things that have happened in the world, including wars and a pandemic, it is more important than ever that we do what we can to show acceptance, solidarity, inclusion, love … and pride. Pride of our city. Pride of our people. Proud displays of colors and emotions.

This year – 2022 – is the year we take pride to a whole new level. And to do that, we have to get back on track with what’s right, what’s right… what’s Buffalo.

Yes, the annual Buffalo Pride Week is officially back, taking place May 31 through June 5. This year’s theme is, fittingly, “Reunion”. During the pandemic, we have seen many people return home. We also saw refugee populations looking for new homes, which they found in Buffalo.

After two years of reduced Pride celebrations, this year promises to be all that and more.

“Each year, Pride Month and Pride Week are an opportunity to find strength through love, inclusiveness and unity, three things that have been especially needed during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19,” said Justin Azzarella, chief strategy officer at Evergreen Health. “Pride has been held virtually and at home for the past two years, and so a safe return to public events is a long-awaited ‘homecoming’ for the LGBTQ+ community. We are so excited that the parade and festival are back and we will happily come together to uplift LGBTQ+ people and celebrate being in person again.

Buffalo Pride Week’s mission is to uplift the LGBTQ+ community by raising awareness and providing access to various events that bring people together in the spirit of celebration, advocacy and community engagement.

“We are grateful that the state of the COVID-19 pandemic allows for safe, in-person gatherings. We also respect everyone’s comfort level and want to celebrate in a way that everyone feels safe, so you might see a mix of virtual and in-person events this year,” Azzarella continued. “Community safety is our top priority and we will continue to monitor the guidelines established by our local and state governments.”

The week-long celebration is hosted by Evergreen Health Foundation, a subsidiary of Evergreen Health, and the celebration is presented by Evergreen Health and M&T Bank. Pride Festival proceeds support the mission and programming of the Pride Center of Western New York, an affiliate of Evergreen Health.

The annual week-long celebration traditionally includes family events, fitness-related events, arts events, club nights and more at various locations and venues across Western New York.

“We’re thrilled to come together again this year to celebrate with the LGBTQ+ community,” said Glenn Jackson, Chief Diversity Officer at M&T Bank. “M&T Bank is all about our people – our people, our customers and the communities we serve. Buffalo Pride Week is a time to celebrate people, show our pride and recognize that there is still work to be done.

Two signature events, the Pride Parade and Pride Festival, will return as in-person celebrations on Sunday, June 5.

  • The parade will proceed along its normal route, beginning at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Forest Avenue and ending at Canalside.
  • When the parade concludes, the festival will take place at Canalside and will feature community organizations, family activities, food and beverage vendors, retailers and live performances.

In addition to the parade and festival, Buffalo Pride Week encourages organizations, businesses and individuals to submit safe and legal events that meet current city, county and state COVID-19 guidelines for BuffaloPrideWeek.com.

Starting today, Buffalo Pride Week attendees are encouraged to:

Buffalo Pride Week 2022 is also sponsored by Geico, Quest Diagnostics, Linde, Rich Products, National Grid, Tito’s Vodka, Thermo Fischer Scientific, and other local businesses.

Photo credit Live in the buff by Paul Fanara. Click on here to follow Living In The Buff on Facebook.

Dino J. Dotson