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State College Pride Returns for Second Year with Events to Celebrate LGBTQ Community

State College Pride is back for its second year with a series of events, including a parade and festival on Saturday.

Celebrating and supporting the LGBTQ community and a diverse and welcoming environment, State College Pride is sponsored by the Centre LGBTQA Support Network (CLSN) and the Borough of State College.

“Pride is a time for our community to come together and celebrate our beautiful diversity,” CLSN founding member Tamar London said in a news release. “We want everyone to know that we see them, we respect them, and we treasure what makes each of us unique and special.”

A parade of cars, bicyclists, skaters and walkers will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday starting at State College Area High School on Westerly Parkway and ending at Sidney Friedman Park on the 200 block of South Fraser Street.

The Pride Festival is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. in Sidney Friedman park and will feature music, entertainment, food, art, local businesses and organizations and more.

Other events through Sunday include a Pride-themed Spikes game on Thursday, Pride Fun Day at Tussey Mountain on Friday, a drag show at Stage West, drag story hour at 3 Dots, a pre-parade party at A’s Pub and more. View the full schedule at statecollegepride.com.

Proceeds from Pride 2022 will benefit CLSN’s initiatives to support the Centre County LGBTQA+ community, including support groups a community clothing closet, workshops, trainings, and other resources.

“As a long-time LGBTQ resident and employee of the Borough of State College, I am so grateful for the efforts of CLSN,” Kevin Kassab, the borough’s manager of community engagement director. “I’m excited for Pride in 2022 and so proud to live in the State College community.”

CLSN also is selling “rainbow cards” to celebrate National Pride Month. Special deals and discounts are available at participating local businesses with the purchase of a rainbow card.

Rainbow cards are $10 and can be purchased at 3 Dots Downtown, Webster’s, Downtown State College Improvement District, and Chumley’s. Check, cash, and Venmo are acceptable payment methods.

At Monday’s Borough Council meeting, Mayor Ezra Nanes issued a proclamation declaring June as Pride Month in State College.

“Our LGBTQ+ community members are integral contributors to our social, civic, economic, artistic, cultural, spiritual and academic vitality in the State College area,” Nanes said. “The celebration of diverse families, histories, identities and pride builds understanding, deepens empathy and strengthens the fibers of our communities. Recognizing and valuing the uniqueness in each of us empowers all of us.

Sonya Wilmoth, vice chair of the borough’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee and director of Penn State’s Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity, accepted the proclamation and stressed the value of creating a sense of belonging for all.

She explained that as an LGBTQ person moving to State College with an infant child, she was unsure what to expect.

“We were met with nothing but open arms, a lot of positive interactions,” Wilmoth said. “I stand here tonight excited and very proud to represent the advisory board in accepting this proclamation but also proud to be a resident and be able to live and work and raise a family here in State College and the surrounding areas knowing that all of you and the people who live and work here also support sexual and gender diverse communities.”