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Pine Plains starts new tradition with first Pride Celebration

PINE PLAINS — Celebrating Pride Month and the LGBTQ+ community is now officially part of the Pine Plains tradition, as the town just finished the month of June by inviting residents and visitors to its inaugural  Pride Celebration on Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26.

Its first-ever Pride Celebration commenced with a Pride Kickoff Dinner at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday evening at Lia’s Mountain View Restaurant. Honored to be part of the event, Lia’s encouraged diners to make reservations and ask for the Pride Patio.

The celebration continued on Sunday morning with a Pride service and coffee hour at 10 a.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Regeneration, followed by a Pride Proclamation reading by town Supervisor Brian Walsh at noon in the town park in the center of town. Between noon and 3 p.m., folks could stroll through town and check out local businesses along Church Street with the Sidewalk Pride Celebration.

Embracing their town’s celebration of Pride, local businesses and residents decorated their doors and storefronts for the occasion with rainbow flags, balloons and inflatables that danced in the summer breeze. The town park pavilion was similarly adorned with rainbow colors for the celebration.

Rainbow flags, beads and other goodies were available at the various locales, like TLCie, Roosters, A New Leaf Books and AR Massage, and Hugs & Kisses Florist.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said TLCie owner Thayer Durell as he handed out rainbow flags in front of his store. “I was around Stonewall Riots and it’s great that a town that was slightly remote from all that is now being brought into the community.”

Many businesses contributed 10% of their sales during the Pride Celebration to the Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBTQ+ and questioning young people.

On top of the giveaways, shopping and special events, restaurants joined in the sidewalk celebration with offerings of food specials.

“I am very excited because I grew up here and to see Pine Plains take the step forward and take that initiative, to me, shows a big step forward since I was in high school,” said Tracie Herrmann from Champetre.

As the afternoon settled in, Church Street played host to a live music performance by Roger & Lenny at the steps of The Stissing Center; next door, hot popcorn and refreshing lemonade was served in front of Rosey’s. Across the street, the Willow Roots food pantry parked a 70s-style black bus painted with white floral designs to draw attention. Its co-founders, Lisa and Nelson Zayas, offered cartons of fresh strawberries and sweets as well as information about the food pantry.

After a few hours in the summer sunshine, revelers were welcome inside The Stissing Center for the Local Produce play reading of David Simpatico’s “Ex-Gay Bar (A Comedy of Horrors)” at 3 p.m. As night began to fall, the town invited all to the close of the first Community Pride Celebration at the Back Bar Beer Garden at 5 p.m. with music by DJ Pepe Romano.

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