There will be no kebabs, leather handicrafts, or live entertainment at the end of the rainbow for this year’s Pride March on June 24. PRIDEfest, the festival that greets tens of thousands of parade-goers where the route concludes in the West Village, was cancelled on May 11.
Citing the overcrowding, inaccessibility, and general unsuitability of the West Village location, Heritage of Pride, the group that produces the city’s annual pride events, had sought to move PRIDEfest to Chelsea on June 23, the day before the mammoth parade. HOP did not make any backup plan to hold the festival in the West Village because it believed the city would approve a permit to make the changes. However, the city denied HOP a permit for the new location and date on April 27, leaving inadequate time for HOP to propose an alternative.
Now that PRIDEfest, which would have been celebrating its 15th year, has been cancelled, there are concerns about how the throngs should be expected to disperse easily and peacefully after the parade.