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Epic Brooklyn Pride Celebrated by Thousands

The nonprofit group Brooklyn Pride hosted a week's worth of events, culminating in a street fair and parade on Saturday.

Brooklyn Pride celebrated its 28th Pride Month Saturday by taking over a stretch of Park Slope’s Fifth Avenue with an all-day street fair culminating in its traditional twilight parade. 

Brooklyn Pride began in 1996 thanks to organizers’ insistence that since Brooklyn has its own distinct flavor, it also deserves its own Pride celebration. The nonprofit organization works year-round to prepare for June. It’s entirely staffed by volunteers and run on donations. 

At the 2024 twilight parade, over 90 groups signed up to march. Despite the multitude of participants, the organizers refuse to use barricades to divide the crowd from the parade. 

“We still do not use barricades in the parade, preferring the crowds to feel the love and give it back to the participants,” explained Mickey Heller, a co-chair of Brooklyn Pride, in a statement to BK Reader. Heller holds that “intimacy, warmth, and family friendliness” remain at the core of the Brooklyn Pride project. 

Scenes from Brooklyn Pride. Photo: Hannah Berman for BK Reader

​Indeed, Brooklyn Pride’s programming is markedly family-friendly, with happy, rainbow-clad kids milling around and taking part in all aspects of the event. Saturday was the culmination of a whole week of Brooklyn-based events, which also included an interfaith service at First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn Heights and Pride Night at the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Despite all the smiling faces, this year’s Pride was also a reminder of the importance of cultivating purposeful queer spaces.

“Brooklyn Pride is important this year because we need to be as much of a haven as possible with the negative political climate and rollbacks to rights that our community is experiencing,” Ariel Sanders, volunteer director at Brooklyn Pride, wrote in a statement to BK Reader. “Even though people say New York is progressive, there are still several spaces, even within this borough, where it's not okay to be your true, authentic self. We want to be a place where you can.”

Elizabeth Kelly, an artist who sold handmade 3D-printed earrings and pins at Saturday’s event, shared delight at being around so many curious, open-minded kids.

“I'm a member of the community, so I feel like it's really important to show up to community events and exist in public and share our love of art,” she said.


Hannah Berman

About the Author: Hannah Berman

Hannah Berman is a Brooklyn-born freelance writer. She writes about food, culture, and nonprofit news, and runs her own grumpy food newsletter called Hannah is Eating.
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