Franklin County Pride parade returns to Greenfield on Saturday

  • Participants in the 2018 Franklin County Pride parade gather at Energy Park in Greenfield. While this year’s event won’t include a gathering at Energy Park, the parade will be held Saturday STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Participants in the 2018 Franklin County Pride parade make their way down Federal Street in Greenfield. While this year’s event won’t include a gathering at Energy Park, the parade will be held Saturday. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Participants in the 2018 Franklin County Pride parade make their way down Federal Street in Greenfield. While this year’s event won’t include a gathering at Energy Park, the parade will be held Saturday. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 9/15/2021 5:11:48 PM

GREENFIELD — After a year without it, the Franklin County Pride parade is returning to Greenfield, albeit on a smaller scale.

Close to 20 groups have signed up to participate in the parade on Saturday, which begins and ends at Greenfield Middle School on Federal Street. The parade usually ends at Energy Park, where it is followed by guest speakers, but that is not part of this year’s event.

“We are tremendously excited to have the parade return this year,” Franklin County Pride volunteer Jake Krain said in a press release. “It has been a challenging year for so many in our community, and it feels wonderful to be able to provide an event where we can come together safely to celebrate.”

Last year, the parade was canceled out of concern for COVID-19, and in its place, Franklin County Pride members collected video submissions they used to create a compilation that was streamed on the nonprofit’s YouTube channel. After the virtual presentation, the community was invited to step outside and ring a bell, clang some pots and pans, sing a favorite song or make some sort of collective noise.

Although the parade is usually held in June, when Pride month is celebrated, Krain said parade organizers decided earlier this year to postpone in an effort to organize a safer event later in the year.

Beginning at noon on Saturday, parade marchers will walk along Federal Street toward Main Street, before turning back onto Franklin Street — just over a 1-mile route, Krain estimated. Community members are welcome to watch the parade along the route.

Krain said the route this year is a loop, allowing for participants to start and end their walk in the area they’ve parked their vehicles. Unlike in previous years, the parade won’t end at Energy Park for a celebration with guest speakers and vendors.

“Unfortunately, with COVID, we decided the safest thing to do would be to scrap that to avoid any type of large gathering,” Krain said. “We feel each participant can be spaced out along the route (for the parade).”

Masks will be encouraged, according to the release.

“We’d love for people to stay and visit the shops and restaurants in Greenfield,” he added.

Krain said it’s not too late to sign up to participate in the parade. Although it’s largely organizations that participate together — businesses, schools and churches, for example — Krain said there has been an “individuals” group in past years, when the interest was there.

“We’re excited that this year we have a lot of our Franklin County delegation,” he said. In particular, he’s expecting to see Mayor Roxann Wedegartner and state Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton.

“We feel like, who doesn’t need more pride in their life?” Krain said. “Even if it’s on a smaller scale, we feel like having something good to celebrate is just a wonderful thing to have.”

Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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