NEPA Pride: March to the Park
July 13, 2019 was the 12th annual NEPA Pride event, hosted by the Rainbow Alliance and sponsored by The Wright Center.
NEPA Pride began with an informal “March to the Park,” a throwback to the first iterations of Pride when the event was a protest and call-to-action for a community targeted by unjust laws and prejudice. Participants walked from Public Square in Wilkes-Barre, across the Market Street Bridge, and down into Kirby Park, ending at the Martz Pavilion.
Just after noon, the festivities kicked off with members of the NEPA Rainbow Alliance welcoming all who came to show their pride and support. Throughout the day a DJ filled the park with music. Many vendors and local organizations had booths stationed in a large circle, making the grassy center ideal for dancing, lounging, and lawn games.
Caring Communities was there to provide our free and on-the-spot STD and HIV testing. Members of our staff encouraged all to come get tested by handing out leis and beaded necklaces donned with condoms. All who got screened or tested with us left with a prize of their choice, ranging from magnets to mini Pride flags to rainbow beach towels. We also offered temporary rainbow tattoos and Caring Communities-branded rainbow stress balls free to anyone who visited our booth.
Overall, Caring Communities conducted 55 tests during Pride, handed out hundreds of condoms, and gave way many prizes to all who stopped by!