The inaugural year of Montclair Pride is going to be big

Montclair, NJ Pride 2022 performers
Montclair, NJ Pride 2022 performers

Celebrating Montclair Pride is a week long series of events

Every year in June, the LGBTQ community gathers together to celebrate Pride. Making a big splash onto the scene this year in the Garden State is Montclair Pride. This is the inaugural year and the organization plans a huge music, food and arts festival and a capstone concert on Saturday, June 11. After-hours parties are also planned and Out in Jersey magazine is proud to be a sponsor of this year’s festival.

Pride week in Montclair includes nine days of events. It starts on Thursday, June 2nd with Pride Night at the Museum. The Montclair Art Museum hosts the event on Thursday starting at 5PM. This free opening night party and pre-party VIP fundraiser reception will feature artist Kyle Meyer. Then they will host Movie Night Under the Stars at Lackawanna Plaza on Friday, June 3rd.The gates at Lackawanna Plaza will open at 7PM for a free screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and a live pre-show and performance by The Ordinary Kids. Montclair Pride Brew, refreshments and Rocky Horror prop kits will be for sale onsite. This event is in partnership with Montclair Film.

For the weekend there is a Pride Workout Weekend at various locations. From Friday June 3rd to Sunday, June 5th Montclair Pride encourages fitness as a prominent lifestyle attribute of the whole town. There are 10 fitness locations that will host nearly 20 classes including yoga, cycling, CrossFit, HIIT, rowing, and a fun run.

Beginning the new week on Monday they host a Drag Variety Show at The Vanguard Theater located at 180 Bloomfield Avenue starting at 7:30PM. Fierce and fabulous drag stars will entertain audiences at the Vanguard Theater Company. Dinner and drinks will be available for purchase. Doors open one hour before curtain for this already sold-out event.

Then on Tuesday there will be a Reading Scripture with Pride at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 67 Church Street. This event, framing the teachings of scripture on the side of loving all people, will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church as a collaboration with Congregation Shomrei Emunah and Union Congregational Church in Montclair and includes an interfaith celebration and reception to explore how faith can and should honor and affirm LGBTQ people.

Drag Queens and Doughnuts will be held at Rabble Rise Doughnuts, 16 Label Street on Wednesday, June 8th at 6PM. Presented by Out Montclair and Rabble Rise Doughnuts, each entry will provide participants with two naked doughnuts and a bar of toppings to dress them up. Favorite local drag queens will be there to “assist.”

Pride Stride comes to the Montclair Brewery, 101 Walnut Street on Thursday, June 9th. The Pride Stride is sponsored by Fleet Feet, Montclair Brewery, and Brooks, this fun run and walk is already sold out!

Then comes the big day on Bloomfield Avenue, Park and Church Streets in Downtown Montclair when the festival takes over the downtown. The Saturday, June 11th Montclair Pride Festival will include live performances, art, culture, food, and music celebrated on two stages across the downtown. There are many guest speakers and LGBTQ talent, surrounded and supported by more than 150 renowned institutions and businesses as partners and sponsors, Organizers say it is already shaping up to be one of the largest Pride festivals in the state’s history. The free festival will welcome Judy Gold, a New Jersey native and nationally known comedian to emcee the main stage.

Other performances will feature actress and trans activist Peppermint; the recent Broadway cast of Jagged Little Pill; Emmy-award winner Dyllón Burnside from Pose; Tony-award winner Laura Benanti; trans activist Carmen Carrera; and the cast of Rent, from the Vanguard Theater Company. Later that evening there is a capstone concert at the Wellmont Theater featuring Betty Who and other top stars.