In what has become an annual event in Niagara Falls, New York; members of the LGBTQ community, friends, and city officials gathered in front of City Hall for the raising of the Rainbow flag to signify the beginning of Pride Month on May 31.

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster opened the ceremonies noting that Niagara Falls is known as the Rainbow City and the Honeymoon capital of the world. It is also a place where people from all walks of life gather to enjoy the majestic waters of Niagara Falls.

Mayor Dyster, Ron Piaseczny of Niagara Country Pride, and Steve Jagord from the Pride Center of Western New York spoke on the events taking place over the next month to celebrate Pride Month including Married with Pride in Niagara Falls State Park overlooking the Falls.

The festivities concluded with Mayor Dyster, Steve, and Ron raising the flag.

In 1969 after New York City police once again raided the Stonewall Inn – a gay bar – the patrons protested and a riot ensued. It was the birth of the gay right movement that has grown to encompass many individuals. This year World Pride will be in New York City to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

Cities and Pride Centers across the state are also marking the event with various celebrations.

Niagara Falls in celebrating with Married with Pride – a marriage and re-commitment ceremony for same sex couples and their allies.

In 2011 when same sex marriage became legal in New York, Niagara Falls held a mass wedding ceremony on Goat Island in Niagara Falls State Park – the oldest state park in the United States. The site will once again lend itself to couples wishing to celebrate their wedding vows or to re-commit those vows with their partners on June 30 at 4:30pm.

Following the ceremony at 6pm the Hard Rock Cafe is hosting the Rainbow Reception – an outdoor event with DJ Milk and drag queen performances.

The festivities will conclude at 10pm with the Falls lit up in rainbow colours as fireworks light up the night sky above.

For more information on joining the ceremony or register to participate, contact Pride Center Program Manager Steve Jagord at sjagord@pridecenterwny.org.

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