MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The North Jersey Pride Festival is Sun., June 12, in Maplewood's Memorial Park and organizers are expecting a large crowd. Last year's festival had over 4,000 attendees.

“We are looking forward to our best year yet,” says C. J. Prince, Executive Director of North Jersey Pride, a non-profit dedicated to promoting equality, acceptance, and respect for LGBTQ youth and families in New Jersey, who said organizers expect more than 5,000 attendees at this year’s festival. “North Jersey Pride has become a time when LGBTQ individuals and families come together with their supportive allies to celebrate equality, diversity and community. It’s also a time when we reach out to LGBTQ youth to remind them that we have their backs and they are not alone.”

In addition to live performances, the festival will have more than 150 merchants, a Food Court featuring local restaurants, and lots of kids activities including inflatables, arts & crafts, and a live, interactive stage.

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The festival is free, and performances are planned from noon to 6 p.m.

MAIN STAGE

Noon - Emcee Scott Nevins 
12:15 p.m.  - Sweet Little Bloodhound
1 p.m. -  Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir
1:30 p.m. - Front & Center Performing Arts Choir
2 p.m. - Pride Month Proclamation with Maplewood Mayor Vic De Luca
2:15 p.m. - Groove Street
3 p.m. - Senator Cory Booker will present the 2016 Outstanding Ally Award to Senator Loretta Weinberg, a longtime champion of LGBTQ equality.

3:15 p.m. - RANGE a cappella
3:45 p.m. - NJP Appreciation Award: The Pride Network
4 p.m. - Parson James
4:45 p.m. - Samantha Marie Ware
5:15 p.m. - Jane Lee Hooker

KIDS STAGE

Noon - Acceptance-themed storytime with Maplewood Memorial Library
1 p.m. - Martial arts demo with American Jiu Jitsu of Maplewood
2 p.m. - Super demo dance class with Front & Center for the Performing Arts
3 p.m. - Awesome Gym Games with South Mountain YMCA
4 p.m. - Spectacular "Fire & Ice" Show with Mad Science

PARKING

Organizers have provided the following information about parking on Sunday:
•  All legal on-street parking is free on Sunday, including on all side streets around the festival grounds. NOTE: Oakview St. will be CLOSED to traffic. 
• Special handicapped parking will be available in NJ Transit Lot #1, next to the Maplewood Train Station on the Dunnell St. side.
• Take advantage of multiple municipal lots in Maplewood Village and then walk the underpass behind the Village Coffee Shop to Dunnell Road or walk around the Village on Baker St.
• The Bank of America lot on Inwood Place.
• The Ricalton Square parking lot, right in front of the Maplewood train station.
• Lot #5 directly adjacent to the Woodland lot.
• Lot #7 behind the Village Coffee Shop.
• NJ Transit Lot #4, across the street from Arturo’s restaurant.

The Pride Festival is part of a full month of Pride events in June, the full list can be found here.