SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A special announcement was made for the Springfield LGBTQ+ Pride Parade on Friday.

The parade is to help promote public health, safety, and care for Springfield’s LGBTQ+ community. The date for the Springfield LGBTQ+ Pride Parade will be on June 3rd, 2023.

CEO and Founder of the parade Taurean Bethea said 6,500 people showed up then. This year they’re hoping to draw in 10,000. Festivities begins on Thursday, June 1st with the pride flag raising and then that night is the fundraising gala they’re calling the “You Ball” at MGM Springfield.

Bethea said the parade is not just a fun celebration but really a way to celebrate the work the organization does year-round to support the local LGBTQ community, like their safe space programming.

“Summer programming and after school programming with Springfield Public Schools. Right now we’re in three schools but we’re looking to expand into more. So this year is a little more around fundraising to support those programs,” said Bethea.

Mayor Sarno said, “Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Judi Crowell and I are looking forward to joining with Taurean Bethea, who I commend and thank for his vision and leadership efforts, and our Springfield LGBTQ+ community to support and announce our second annual Springfield Pride Parade.  We had a wonderful time marching and celebrating with the thousands of participants last year, and this year will be no different.  A good person is a good person, no matter what creed, color, background, sexual orientation, or gender identity. As a longtime member of Mayors Against LGBTQ Discrimination, I am proud to stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ community to remind all that each of us deserves the same level of equality and respect. This month in particular, as we recognize Public Health Month, we thank and acknowledge those who have fought for equality for our LGBTQ+ community and recognize that respecting the rights of all makes for a better city and community.”

The parade will start at noon once again at STCC and then the Block Party will be at Stearns Square.