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North Attleborough Pride Festival shines in third year

By Michael Oliveira

michael@northstarreporter.com

An overcast Saturday did nothing to damper the excitement of North Attleborough’s third annual Pride Festival.

Held on Saturday, June 22, at Veterans Park, the event featured numerous vendors and many sponsors that displayed their support of the LGBTQ+ community.

The School of Rock band performed along with shows by drag queens, DJ Purple Wave and the band Phendiate.

There was a packed crowd in the park, as most people all over were representing the LGBTQ+ colors. Vendors were packed with people all across North Attleborough in full support of the event.

Sarah Stone, who runs Our Open Umbrella and is among te festival organizers, said the day was amazing, as was the turnout.

“The smiling faces, the laughter, the joy and love around every corner was incredible,” she said in a statement. “Thank you to everyone who came out, as well as the vendors and community groups, and of course, the volunteers who all made this happen. I can’t wait for next year.”

North Attleborough resident Jasper Hustler (they/them) was one of the vendors with their two friends, and was very happy with the turnout of the event.

“This event is sort of a representative of just hope for the community, and bringing kind of everyone out in order to celebrate. There are a lot of queer people in North Attleborough, there really are, but you don’t see it, said Hustler. “I think it’s great, because it brings queer people and the celebration of all diverse people in the community to the forefront of things. As someone who is nonbinary living in this town, I’ve grown up relatively feeling pretty accepted in this time, but having an event to push that really does wonders because there are so many queer people in this town, and I didn’t have a lot of the resources that queer kids at the high school nowadays have access too. It brings me hope for the future.”

Jasper noted that they were one of the coordinators of this event. Their friend Ethan Murray (he/him) explained what this event means to him.

“I think the event is about not just acceptance, but a lot about the community, and making sure everyone feels welcome. I am not a member of the LGBTQ, but I have many friends who are, and I think it’s very important that we show them we are accepting no matter what, for those close to us,” said Murray.

Pride Festival Committee Chair Sarah Cenedella said that the event was an incredible experience and it was rewarding to see the town come together to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

“Thank you to all of the volunteers that dedicated their time and mindshare to bring this event to fruition,” said Cenedella via e-mail. “We’re always seeking active volunteers and encourage anyone interested to message us through our Facebook page.”

Other members of the community included state Rep. Adam Scanlon (D-North Attleborough), who himself is gay, had his own vendor stand at the event which had many visitors.

“Today is a day when everyone in our community can come together to celebrate that love is love and this is a community that values all people,” Scanlon said. “The message continues to get louder and louder on that. This is the third year of its inception having North Attleborough Pride, and I am so happy to celebrate it with everyone and recognize that today we are all allies of all people in our community regardless who they love.”

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