The Morgantown Pride Parade, which had originally been scheduled on June 23, will officially be heading down High Street Friday evening at 7 p.m.
The parade was scheduled to kick-off Morgantown Pride Weekend in June, but was cancelled just a few days before the event because of safety concerns due to a lack of law enforcement officers available to work during the event.
Morgantown Police Chief Eric Powell said he is not aware of any issues from a police perspective that would prevent the parade from happening this time around.
Morgantown Pride President Ash Orr said the group is feeling a lot more confident heading into Friday’s parade than they did with the one cancelled in June and has been in constant communication with the Morgantown Police Department about any concerns.
Orr said they have also been in contact with the other organizations taking part in the event regarding safety concerns and how participants can remain vigilant during the event.
“I do feel overall that we are in a much safer environment right now for this parade and I do feel that we have a lot more precautions in place should anything arise,” they said.
Even though it has been a bit of a struggle to get to this point, and it has now been 18 weeks since the original date during Pride Month, Orr said Morgantown Pride is looking forward to being able to be with the LGBTQ+ community and celebrate that community – but also to be visible.
“Would we have loved for this to have been during Pride Month? Absolutely,” Orr said. “But the reality is that we do need to be visible all year-round and bring together our community for that sense of togetherness and remind ourselves that even though things are quite scary right now, we are still here, we are still visible, and we have each other to fall back on.
“Right now we are really struggling within the LGBTQ+ community with being visible and remaining safe given the ongoing legislative attacks on our community,” they continued. “So it’s really important for us that we are being visible, that we are joining together with our community and that we’re also just celebrating our existence. That’s really what we’re looking forward to with this event.”
The parade is scheduled on High Street at 7 p.m. Friday with participants beginning to line up around 6 p.m.