Queens Pride will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its parade and march on June 4 with a performance by Lisa Lisa of ’80s pop group Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam.
The event will kick off at 37th Avenue and 89th Street in Jackson Heights with a march at noon. Participants will head over to 75th Street and 37th Road where they will find several stages for performances, food vendors and booths highlighting local businesses and organizations.
The grand marshals for this year’s event include Bianey Garcia, a trans activist for Make the Road New York, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and representatives from Sheltering Arms, a 186-year-old nonprofit dedicated to “breaking the cycle of abuse, neglect and poverty for all New Yorkers.”
“We are proud and grateful for the opportunity to support Queens Pride as grand marshal,” said Elizabeth McCarthy, CEO of Sheltering Arms. “We look forward to celebrating programs and possibilities with children and families at this year’s parade.”
Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam consists of Lisa Velez, Alex Moseley and Mike Hughes. The group had several hits including “I Wonder If I Take You Home” and “Can You Feel the Beat” which was sampled in Nina Sky’s popular 2004 hit “Move Ya Body.”
They were one of the first freestyle groups in the 1980s and some of the first musicians to play what later became known as hip-hop and R&B. Their songs peaked on both pop and R&B charts and are still played in clubs.
To march in the parade, attendees must register by May 15 at the Queens Pride website. Marchers will be eligible to win one of six Queenie Awards.
The categories include “The Drag Race,” “The Rainbow Award” which will be awarded to the group with the best use of color; “The Screaming Queens Award,” which will be given to the group with the best sound whether that’s chanting, singing, using a band or something pre-recorded; “The Screaming Theme Award” will be given to the group who best represents the theme, which has not been announced yet; “The Toast of Queens Award” will be given to the bar, club or business with the best representation and “The Simply the Best Award.”
The Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee Inc. was founded in 1992 by Councilman Daniel Dromm after the murder of Julio Rivera, a gay man, in Jackson Heights. The first Queens Pride march was held in 1993 and now, the event attracts more than 40,000 people and is the second largest Pride celebration in New York City.
The group also hosts programming to advocate for LGBT issues and organizes a Winter Pride Dinner Dance.
For more information on the parade, visit the Queens Pride website.