CHARLEMONT, Mass. (WWLP) – The fourth annual Pride Day on the River is scheduled to be held on Saturday, June 11th on the Deerfield River in Charlemont.

The annual gathering celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride month with groups rafting and kayaking down the Fife Brook section of the Deerfield River. In collaboration with Zoar Outdoor and The Venture Out Project, both new and experienced boaters can spend the day paddling on the river. An after-party will be held following the event at Zoar. The after party offers free food, non-alcoholic beverages, and a raffle for whitewater gear and other prizes.

Ann Gillard, founder and organizer of Pride Day on the River described the need for an event like this, pointing to the discrimination that LGBTQ+ individuals sometimes face in the outdoors. “Pride Day on the River is all about building a more inclusive and diverse community around whitewater kayaking, canoeing and rafting,” Gillard said. “Our goal is to expand the whitewater community for LGBTQ+ people and allies, to make new friends, and create community around enjoyment and stewardship of our outdoor world.”

Pre-registration is required, and for adults 18 and older only unless joining the Community Paddle and are accompanied by a parent or guardian. All participants are required to wear a life vest/personal flotation device (PFD) and helmet when in boats or in the water.