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Summer of Pride: Rochester Pride 2017 Preview


In the summer of 1967, nearly 75,000 people descended upon San Francisco in search of peace and free love and hoping to break away from the conservative ideals of their parents and other authority figures. This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, and the organizers of Rochester Pride found the themes of that summer relevant and timely — especially due to the current political climate. The 2017 theme for Rochester Pride would be "Summer of Love."

"There is a real need for peace, love, and harmony," says Gay Alliance Executive Director Scott Fearing. "It made a lot of sense as a committee as something to emphasize as a theme this year."

Below is a breakdown of some of the events happening for Pride. Know of another Pride event that we missed? Leave it in the comments below this article.

Thursday, July 13

Multiple events will take place over the course of the evening for Sassy in the South Wedge. Starting a 5:30 p.m. at Lux Lounge (666 South Avenue), there will be a Human Rights Campaign second Thursday networking event. This LGBTQ networking event will include free pizza, $1 Pabst Blue Ribbon cans, a 50-50 drawing, and raffles that will benefit Rochester's Pride Parade and Festival.

The Youth Pride Dance will take place at the German House (315 Gregory Street) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The dance is open to LBGTQ youth between the ages of 13 and 20 and will feature free drinks and pizza and music by DJ Solid Bear. Equal Grounds Coffee House (750 South Avenue) will host "The Good, the Bad, and the Funny" from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. This free open mic event is "A Celebration of Being Transgender and Gender Expansive" and invites the Transgender and Gender Variant community to share their stories.

There will also be live music in Star Alley (the park next to Lux Lounge) from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. that will feature performances by Claudia Hoyser, Cammy Enaharo, and Elephino. Beer and wine will be available for purchase as well as $1 hot dogs and tacos. Capping the night off will be a Summer of Love Pride Dance Party at the German House from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., featuring music by Sole Rehab and DJ LCAT. Door admission is $5 and all proceeds benefit the Gay Alliance.

Friday, July 14

Opening ceremonies for Rochester Pride kick off at 6 p.m. at Cobbs Hill Park (80 Culver Road) at the Rainbow Garden Stage with speakers from the City of Rochester and a Pride Color Bike Ride through the city.

Ambush Rochester will hold its first picnic from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Ellison Park (395 Richs Dugway Road) Orchard Grove Shelter. Ambush events offer the lesbian community a "low-key, fun, and casual way to hang out with your friends and meet other lesbians from the WNY area." The picnic is family-friendly and everyone is welcome. There will be pickup kickball and softball games and attendees are encouraged to bring snacks and lawn chairs. Look for the event on Facebook.

Rochester Black Pride will host "Queer, Enchanted & Black: A Gay Prom" at The Penthouse at One East Avenue starting at 7 p.m. Tickets to the event are $30 per person or $50 per couple and will feature complimentary hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar, and a live DJ. Tickets are available at Also, more Rochester Black Pride events will take place August 9 through August 13.

Saturday, July 15

The ROC Pride Parade and ROC Pride Fest both start at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The parade begins at the intersection of Alexander Street and Park Avenue and travels down Park to Culver Road. This is the largest Rochester Pride march ever, with 117 different groups participating.

The ROC Pride Fest will take place at Cobbs Hill Park from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. There are a record number of vendors this year, including food trucks and vendors and non-profit and social justice groups. The event headliner is local musician Amanda Lee Peers who was featured on "The Voice." Australian singing DJ Ray Isaac will also be performing both at the festival and on Sunday, July 16, at 140 Alex Bar and Grill (140 Alexander Street). The event will have a second stage area this year, the Rainbow Garden Stage, which will have tables available to sit in the shade.

Tickets to the ROC Pride Fest are $10 on Saturday and $5 on Sunday. You can purchase tickets online through or at the LGBTQ Resource Center (100 College Avenue), the Bachelor Forum (670 University Avenue), 140 Alex Bar & Grill, The Avenue Pub (522 Monroe Avenue), Parkleigh (215 Park Avenue), and The Dalai Java (157 South Main Street, Canandaigua).

The Bachelor Forum will open at noon on both Saturday and Sunday, and will offer a free shuttle to and from the Cobbs Hill festival site every hour on the hour from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Sunday, July 16

The ROC Pride Fest continues on Sunday at Cobbs Hill Park from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday will feature an exhibit, "Forging Alliances," a history of LGBTQ communities in the Rochester area, in the Riley Lodge.

Pearl Night Club (349 East Avenue) will host a post-Pride event from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. featuring music from DJ Solid Bear, DJ Hector, and New York City DJ, Obra Primitiva. Cash-only tickets are available for purchase at The Bachelor Forum and will be $15 at the door.