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NEPA Bursts With Pride Month Events

May 22, 2019

Members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies celebrate Pride Month every June by shining a spotlight on queer talent and honoring those who have fought to increase visibility and advance social justice.

We’ve rounded up a diverse collection of local events throughout Northeast Pennsylvania that commemorate Pride in 2019. Each event has its own Facebook page, so be sure to check that prior to attending for updates and more information.

Lackawanna County

From Friday, May 31, through Monday, June 17, the Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science & Art, 1901 Mulberry St., Scranton, will host “Queer & Here,” a group show co-curated by Queer NEPA. The collection of works will feature art by local LGBTQ artists, including Eli Carpenter, Rebecca Henry and Nik Angel Moreno. Admission costs $7 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and $3 for children 6 to 12 and is free for museum members.

Moosic’s 12 Penny Saloon, 3501 Birney Ave., will kick off its Pride Month programming with the Big-Bad Battle Bash on Saturday, June 1, starting at 8 p.m. The night, presented in partnership with NEPA Rainbow Alliance, kicks off in the upstairs Tiki Piano Lounge with happy hour drink specials that last until 10 p.m. plus a finger foods buffet that will include Pulled Pork Sliders, chips and more. At 9:30 p.m., the first “battle” round of competition begins: a karaoke contest in which the winner — chosen by audience applause — will win a $50 cash prize. Next, head down to the night club, where the second round — a drag queen battle — pits veteran performers against fierce amateurs for a lip-synch showdown, earning the winner a $100 prize. Capping the night is a Sexiest Underwear Contest for men and women, where the most outrageous look will earn the wearer $50. DJ Brian K will keep the dance tunes pumping until closing at 2 a.m.

Act Out Theatre, 150 E. Grove St., Dunmore, will be the place for Queer Night Out on Sunday, June 9, which recognizes both Pride Month and Juneteenth (aka Freedom Day, which commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865). From 7:30 to 9 p.m., a variety show will be held that showcases headliners Karen Smith, a percussionist, and Wit López, a professional magicianatrix and comedian burlesque performer, as well as acoustic soul music duo Lotus, poet Maria Reyes and comedian Angelia Petrillo.

Albright Memorial Library, 500 Vine St., Scranton, presents a night of discussion on Monday, June 10, following a screening of the R-rated movie “Pride” as part of its Social Justice Book & Film Club. Along with co-presenter St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, the event runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the library’s Henkelman Room.

Scranton’ speakeasy Madame Jenny’s, 126 Franklin Ave., hosts “The Pride of Philly — A Drag Show Starring Miss Lisa Lisa” on Saturday, June 15. Doors open at 7 p.m., with the performance — which will include appearances by “icons” such as Liza, Marilyn and Cher — set to begin at 9. Tickets start at $25.

Those seeking an “affirming and sober space for LGBTQ+ folks to relax” can visit Adezzo, 515 Center St., Scranton, on Thursday, June 20, for Queer NEPA’s monthly Queer Coffee Klatch. The gathering takes places from 5 to 7 p.m.

Luzerne County

On Saturday, June 1, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., guests of the Osterhout Free Library, 71 S. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre, can take part in a Crafternoon activity co-hosted by Queer NEPA, at which materials will be provided to create beaded pride necklaces.

An all-ages potluck called a Peace Meal is set for Saturday, June 15, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Hazleton One Community Center, 225 E. Fourth St. Presented through the partnership of Greater Hazleton Latino Coalition, Hazleton Integration Project, Anthracite Unite, Action Together NEPA and Queer NEPA, the meal also will offer henna by Diksha Rajiv and music by DJ Gordo. Guests are asked to bring a labeled food dish to share.

Recognize a defining moment in queer history — the riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York City in 1969 that protested a brutal police raid against patrons of the gay bar — with Stonewall 50: Rally for Queer Liberation, on Saturday, June 29, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Public Square, Wilkes-Barre. Participants are encouraged to bring pride flags to the rally, which is co-hosted by ACLU of Pennsylvania, Why Courts Matter — Pennsylvania, NEPA NOW, Pennsylvania Youth Congress and Queer NEPA. An American Sign Language interpreter will be present.

Later on June 29, head over to HEAT Bar & Night Club, 71 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, for a 21-and-over Pride Party presented by NEPA Rainbow Alliance, NEPA Red Ribbon Alliance and Queer NEPA from 8 to 10 p.m. The $5 cover for the event goes to Ruth’s Place, a shelter for homeless women.

Bring the whole family to Wilkes-Barre’s Kirby Park for the annual NEPA Pride: March to the Park on Saturday, July 13. Organized by NEPA Rainbow Alliance, the day stretches from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and includes a parade, 5K walk/run, health screenings, entertainment and vendors. Resources also will be on hand.

Elsewhere

Extend Pride later into summer with the 25th annual Pride Picnic at Knoebels Grove, Elysburg, set for Saturday, Aug. 10. Check-in begins at 11 a.m. with a meal planned for 3 p.m. at pavilion T-10. Picnic attendance is free, and no advance registration is required, although guests are asked to bring a covered dish to share and wear the color red. The event will feature speakers, information tables, door prizes and raffles.

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