PrideDay celebrates a 30-year tradition in Philly

Krystal Cirillo, of Bucks County, holds onto her rainbow umbrella as rain began to fall prior to the start of the parade celebrating Philadelphia’s 30th annual PrideDay Sunday.

Nearly 50 years ago, the first gay pride parade was held in New York City to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots, demonstrations sparked by a police raid on a gay club that served as the first major protest on behalf of LGBT equal rights.

Philadelphia held its first pride parade in 1972, a celebration that lapsed in subsequent years until 1988, when a parade from the gayborhood to LOVE Park led to a commitment to hold a gay pride parade and festival every June.

>> READ MORE: At Philadelphia’s first gay pride march, people were ‘jeering at us and booing’

That tradition — PrideDay — celebrated its 30th year Sunday with a 1.5-mile parade from 13th and Locust Streets, past a judging stand at Independence Mall and down to Penn’s Landing, where a festival of food, drink, music and dancing kicked off around 1:30 p.m. at the Great Plaza.

Marching with William Way LGBT Community Center, Julia Jewells acknowledges the crowd’s approval on Locust Street.

>> READ MORE: Philly has first march celebrating LGBT people of color

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Michael Brown is Venus arising from the clam shell on the float from the Tavern on Camac.
Camera icon MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Danielle Adams, left, and Sarah Riley, right, hold hands and wave their flags as they walk down Locust Street as part of the Chase Pride contingent in the 30th anniversary PrideDay Parade on Sunday.
Camera icon MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Spectators along Market Street show their support to the marchers.
Camera icon MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Members of the Wells Fargo Pride contingent wave rainbow flags and smile at the crowd as they march down Locust Street.
Camera icon MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Ashley Daniels, of T-Mobile, wears a balloon book bag as she passes out pink T-Mobile sweatbands before the start of the parade.
Camera icon MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Riders on the Urban Outfitters Pride float are showered with confetti as they ride down Locust Street.

Similar celebrations filled streets and parks in cities across the country and world.

Next up by Philly Pride Presents: OutFest on Oct. 9.

>> READ MORE: Tackling racism in the Gayborhood