Thousands show their pride at parade
The city of Hudson was in celebration mode Saturday as thousands of people came out to support the LGBT Community.
Floats, motorcycles and classic cars gathered along with the marchers in front of the Seventh Street Park to participate in the third annual Hudson Pride Parade Saturday, as did the large crowds that turned out along Warren Street.
“Its really exciting the city comes out for this parade,” said Lauren Levey from Catskill. “It encourages people. We are legitimate in Hudson, every year has been wonderful and we are finally not invisible, not outlaws.”
At the first pride parade, Levey was the only motorcyclist. This year she was joined by a half dozen more that led the parade through the streets. They were soon followed by the the day’s two grand marshals and members of the State Assembly: Hudson’s representative Didi Barrett, D-Washington, and Daniel O’Donnell, D-Morningside Heights, the first openly gay Assembly member and the author of the Marriage Equality law passed by the Legislature in 2011.
“My husband and I have a home in Spencertown and are in Hudson all the time,” said O’Donnell. “I was truly honored to be a part of the parade, it’s a very accepting and welcoming place.”
“It is a really special community,” said Barrett. “Hudson has long been ahead of the curve on issues like this. Every year this parade gets bigger and bigger and people are more enthusiastic — it’s really wonderful.”
Hudson’s local elected officials were also out in support of the parade, with most of the city’s Common Council and supervisors in attendance. Hudson Mayor Bill Hallenbeck, who marched in the previous year’s parades as a supervisor, said he was incredibly happy with the turnout.
“This is a fantastic parade, and a great turnout,” said Hallenbeck. “This continues to achieve greater things year after year … I don’t think we have ever wavered in support and the message continues to grow we are open and receptive to everyone.”
The growth of the support and turnout on the parade was something many that attended emphasized, including Third Ward Alderman Chris Wagoner.
“It is great to see the community come out and support,” he said. “I’m blown away by how many people have come out. A lot of people put a lot of work into this, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it turns out next year.”
The parade was filled with many different members of the Hudson community including past parade grand marshal Charlie Ferrusi, Time and Space Limited Co-Director Linda Mussman, representatives from many different businesses and organizations, all flying flags and waving banners in support of the LGBT community.
“It is great to see for such a small town, a tiny city, we are one of the biggest parades,” said Molly Koweek from Hudson. “Even before (the pride parade) started it has been growing more and more open … society is only going to be more and more accepting.”
The parade made its way down to the Hudson Waterfront Park, where there were musicians, vendors, speeches and more celebration that stretched into the evening.
“It’s really great to have the community say ‘yes you are a part of us and enrich our cultural fabric,’” said Levey. “It makes you want to do your best for Hudson.”
Pride Weekend continues today, with Family Day activities at Waterfront Park.
* * *