CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The city of Chicopee celebrated their LGBTQ+ community at the Public Library Friday, raising a flag as a show of solidarity and support.

The event is a way of kicking off Pride month in Chicopee, all part of their annual Pride Fest. Residents gathered to hear Mayor John Vieau, give a speech during the event, and show support to their local community.

Chicopee resident, Emarie Leatherwood, telling 22News, “My main message to anyone watching this today, we are your friends, we are your family, we are your neighbors, we are the people you interact with on a daily basis and may not know it. Spread kindness and love, not hate.”

Chicopee’s Pride Fest continues this weekend, with a party and celebration in Szot park. That kicks off Saturday at 3 p.m., and runs until 9 p.m.