Boston Pride Parade To Take on New Meaning in Wake of Bombings

Although Boston’s annual Pride Parade is intended to celebrate the city’s LGBT community, this year, in the wake of the marathon bombings, Boston Pride has taken on a whole new meaning.

Boston Pride organizers said that even a few days after the events at the marathon they knew this year’s event would be different.

“We felt that even our name was going beyond what it was understood to mean,” said Sylvain Bruni, a member of the Boston Pride Board of Directors. “We are an organization designed to promote awareness and inclusivity of the LGBT community, but Boston Pride is also about being proud of Boston and celebrating all of our diverse communities here.”

This year’s Boston Pride Parade, the culminating event of Boston’s Pride Week, will be bigger and better than ever, Bruni said. The parade, which takes place on Saturday at noon, will feature 247 organizations, up from 170 last year. As many as 35,000 people are expected to participate or watch the parade. 

But along with the large crowds come security concerns, especially in the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon in April. 

Boston Police officials said the department has already patrolled a number of significant events in the city since the marathon, including the Walk for Hunger, and will be doing what they can to make sure the parade route is safe. 

“We will have bomb sniffing dogs and technicians on the parade route,” said Cheryl Fiandaca, spokesperson for the Boston Police. “The BPD evaluates all public events—and will have an appropriate number of officers deployed for the parade.”

Bruni said that Boston Pride has also taken steps to make the parade more secure, including hiring more volunteers than ever, having parade participants take special safety training and improving communication with the police.

“This year, there will be more eyes on the ground observing wht’s going on in the parade,” Bruni said. “Obviously we thought it was very important for us to take those proactive measures.”

The post-parade Pride Festival will be held at City Hall Plaza, rain or shine, from 12-6 p.m. You can see the full parade route and street closings here

“This year is going to be the biggest and best year,” Bruni said. “People will have a great time in a totally safe, secure, and welcoming environment.”

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