CATSKILL — The continuing pandemic will not dampen the spirits of village residents who plan to celebrate gay pride in August.
Pride festivities traditionally held in June were canceled or postponed due to COVID-19. A group of village residents announced plans Wednesday to hold a pride parade Aug. 1.
“We want everyone to feel welcome,” organizer Elliot Matos said. “It’s an LGBTA-plus event. The slogan is Hope for Humanity. We want everyone to have hope with these trying times we’re in, with COVID and the racial tensions.”
Matos organized a Diversity March in the village in March and hopes the pride event will also shed light on the diversity in the community, he said.
“We thought it would be nice to get the community out together, keeping social distance and recognizing we are a diverse group of people,” Matos said. “And everyone loves rainbows, so why not?”
Matos and Michele Delage, owner of Winkle’s Bakery, presented the idea to the village board on Wednesday.
The lineup for the parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Water Street, with the step-off at noon. Floats and parade participants will proceed down Main Street to Dutchman’s Landing, where other activities will carry on into the afternoon.
“In Dutchman’s there will be a whole bunch of activities and maybe a live band, hopefully some food truck vendors,” Matos said. “We will keep social distancing in mind with all that. We will have a better understanding of how our numbers are by then. We have to see how we are with the COVID first and work around that.”
The parade may be the first of its kind for Catskill in about a decade, Village Trustee Natasha Law said.
“We had one about 10 years ago,” she said. “Everything is still in the early stages but I believe Elliot and Michele will do a great job.”
The Youth Clubhouse of Columbia and Greene Counties hosted Greene County Pride at Dutchman’s Landing in June 2019.
Greene County’s COVID-19 numbers have been on the decline, according to county Public Health.
The public health department reported Thursday there are 17 active cases, six of which were nursing home residents. A total of 4,215 Greene County residents have been tested, with 249 positive results, a 5.9% rate.
A month ago, on May 12, the county had 91 active cases, 26 of which were nursing home residents. The percentage of positive results at that time was 12.8%. In three weeks, the county’s number of COVID-related deaths rose from 14 to 18.
In Columbia County, the 10th annual OutHudson Pride Festival was postponed and rescheduled to Sept. 25-27, with the parade to be held at 2 p.m. Sept. 26.
“OutHudson wants to ensure that our community feels safe and comfortable celebrating in a mass gathering,” according to the announcement. “The trajectory of the current pandemic is largely unknown, and it poses many challenges for planning.
“We need ample time to collaborate with our partners, organize events, and promote the festival. We believe that by September we will be able to celebrate pride in Hudson. Please help us spread the word. Stay safe, be well, and we’ll see you in September for our biggest celebration yet.”