Proud of Pride - 2014 North Shore Pride Parade and Festival

Story By Keith Spencer of NOBO Magazine with Photos by John Andrews of Social Palates

Smiles and celebration were the themes of the day. Photo by Social Palates Photography

Smiles and celebration were the themes of the day. Photo by Social Palates Photography

SALEM – Traffic was halted throughout Salem mid-day on Saturday as hundreds of supporters lined the streets to celebrate diversity and develop unity at the North Shore Pride Parade and Festival.The third annual march brought together families and folks from all over the North Shore to promote equal rights for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities.

“We are in our third year, and it has gotten bigger and better,” said North Shore Pride Founder Hope Watt‐Bucci. “We have more sponsors, more vendors, and more organizations because they understand and support our mission of promoting unity on the North Shore.”

I could not be happier to see how this has grown and evolved over the last three years, in our community, pride is not just about one day. We believe and strive for equality all year.
— Mayor Kimberly Driscoll

The parade kicked off from the Salem Post Office where it proceeded down New Derby and Derby Streets to Hawthorne Boulevard, concluding at the Salem Common. Local DJ Fast Freddy served as the parade’s Grand Marshall and as the official emcee of the festival’s entertainment lineup which included a headline performance by North Shore native Alex Newell of FOX’s Glee.

“It’s great to be here, just down the street from my hometown of Lynn,” Newell said at the start of a set which included performances showcasing both his humor and talent. He also brought his signature sass and charm to the stage, posing for the cameras of an admiring audience while capriciously teasing his younger and “cuter” fans who distracted attention from him.

“We were so thrilled to have Alex headline,” Bucci said following the set. “He once demonstrated that he is wildly talented, and he is an inspiration for the LGBTQ community here on the North Shore and through out the country.”

Alex Newell of Glee headlines the festivities

Alex Newell of Glee headlines the festivities

Eastern Bank was the presenting sponsor of this year’s North Shore Pride with dozens of staff and family both marching in the parade and greeting attendees at their festival booth.

“This year’s North Shore Pride was amazing! We are so proud to contribute to bring a community together for celebration of social awareness,” Eastern Bank Vice President and Salem Branch Manager Dan Sousa said. “As a mutual bank, we believe in a social responsibility to support and celebrate diversity within our organization and our communities.”

A number of LGBTQ organizations, including a number of faith-based groups, as well as local companies from across the North Shore were in attendance, both marching in the parade and offering activities and information at booths spread across a swath of Salem Common for most of Saturday afternoon.

Bog Ol' Dirty Buckets high energy funk had the crowd dancing

Bog Ol' Dirty Buckets high energy funk had the crowd dancing

“We’re proud to support North Shore Pride in bringing this celebration to one of the oldest cities in the nation. We truly have come a long way,” said Go Out Loud CEO and Salem State University alumn Kevin Letourneau. “A huge bravo to all of the organizers. It was a beautiful day, and we’re looking forward to sustaining this energy all year long.”

City officials and a number of politicians seeking office this fall marched in the parade and distributed literature, including Salem’s Mayor Kim Driscoll, Congressman John Tierney, and candidates Richard Tisei, Seth Moulton, Evan Falchuk, and Warren Tolman.

Mayor Kim Driscoll engages the record crowd

Mayor Kim Driscoll engages the record crowd

“I could not be happier to see how this has grown and evolved over the last three years,” Mayor Driscoll said during the festival. “In our community, pride is not just about one day. We believe and strive for equality all year.”

The festival also included an array of local performers in addition to headliner Alex Newell that included the funky love of Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket, some punk rock by the Petty Morals, an acoustic set by Bethel Steele, and the self-described blend of cabaret, neo-soul and acoustic noir from What Time Is It Mr. Fox?.

Between each of the musical sets, the crowd was wowed with the aerial anomalies by the Fight or Flight Theater. The New York City based theatre company provided demonstrations that included a dual acrobatic ring performance, a trapeze routine, and other visceral, imaginative storytelling through aerial acrobatics.

The official North Shore Pride After Party brought supporters to Murphy’s Pub in downtown Salem following the festival where guests had the opportunity for a special “meet and greet” with headliner Alex Newell.

The event was only made possible due to the efforts of the North Shore Pride committee and the overwhelming support from this year’s sponsors: Eastern Bank, Lucas Noble Financial, Richard Tisei for U.S. Congress, Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann, Boston Spirit Magazine, Bay State Financial, Whole Foods, Home Depot, North Shore Lesbians, Fast Freddy Murphy, Curve Magazine, Rainbow Times, Boston Pride, Greg Polite Photo Booth, and Parents and Friends of Lesbian & Gay Youth (PFLAG), and donors Joanne and Joseph Croteau, Melissa Stockbridge, and Cynthia Estella.


IMPORTANT - PEDESTRIAN CHANGES AT SALEM STATION -EFFECTIVE JUNE 18, 2014

VIA BUILDING SALEM

IMPORTANT - PEDESTRIAN CHANGES AT SALEM STATION -EFFECTIVE JUNE 18, 2014

As part of the on-going construction of the new parking garage at the MBTA's Salem Station, the MBTA will be installing crash bollards at the Bridge Street pedestrian entrance to the station. This work will result in a change in pedestrian travel to the station. Pedestrians will be required to cross Washington Street at Bridge Street to the District Court side of the street and utilize the crosswalk on that side of Washington Street to cross Bridge Street. The work is scheduled to begin on June 18th. On the first day of the change, the MBTA will provide a police detail to assist the pedestrians with the change in the path of travel. A plan showing the revised pedestrian access is attached. The MBTA will be posting signs in the station notifying users of the changes.

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