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Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Cultural Partnership, Springfield Pride Parade, and Common Wealth Murals are teaming up to install Pride crosswalks in downtown Springfield on Sunday, July 9, with a rain date of Sunday, Aug. 6.

The crosswalk will be installed at the four-way intersection at Main Street, Court Square, and Bruce Landon Way by the entrance to the MassMutual Center and the William C. Sullivan Regional Visitors Center. Roadways being painted will be closed to vehicular traffic that day. Road closures include Main Street between Pynchon Street and State Street and Court Street between Market Street and City Hall Place.

“I truly believe the city has this really new energy, and the city of Springfield is actually becoming very innovative,” said Taurean Bethea, founder and CEO of Springfield PRIDE Parade. “It’s just going to make the city look good, and it’s going to make people of the LGBTQ+ community just feel supported and feel as if they are seen. And that is one of our greatest missions as an organization.”

The final rendering was created by designer and illustrator Chris Seabrooks with input from the partner organizations, and will be professionally installed by Common Wealth Murals muralists, Springfield Pride Parade members, and the Springfield Cultural Partnership (SCP). The Springfield Business Improvement District has supported both the crosswalk design and logistical aspects of preparing for the installation. SCP is the project’s planning partner and sponsor.

“We are grateful to the Springfield City Council for their unanimous decision made on June 13, 2022 to approve our plans to install permanent Pride crosswalks on Main Street,” said Karen Finn, SCP executive director. “Springfield Cultural Partnership partners, city leadership, and civic-minded organizations are working together with incredibly talented and enthusiastic local creatives and culture bearers, allowing for more community-centered art to make its way into this great city.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Pride Parade organization announced the inaugural You Ball Fundraising Gala, taking place on Thursday, June 1 at 6 p.m. in MGM Springfield’s Aria Ballroom. With a Met Gala-inspired Fabergè egg theme, the You Ball will celebrate the diverse beauty, uniqueness, and prestige of the LGBTQIA+ community.

“My team and I are truly honored to produce Springfield’s Pride Parade and You Ball Fundraising Gala,” said Taurean Bethea, founder and CEO of Springfield Pride Parade. “The Fabergè egg was selected as the first You Ball theme because of its opulence and 50-plus variations of handcrafted art. It flawlessly represents this amazing community by highlighting that we all may show up in different variations, yet we are all the same.”

The gala will feature music, dining options, performances, and conversations with parade organizers and Springfield city officials. Proceeds from the You Ball Fundraising Gala will directly support the Springfield Pride Parade organization’s Safe Space program, which provides Springfield public-school students with a safe environment to effectively communicate, build self-confidence, work on their social and emotional skills, develop healthy relationships, and focus on community engagement.

Sponsored by MassMutual, MGM Springfield, Springfield Technical Community College, and the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services, the event aims to be an inspirational evening to celebrate and honor the region’s LGBTQIA+ and ally business owners, professionals, and community leaders.

For more information on You Ball tickets, table sponsorships, and gala program marketing inquiries, visit www.springfieldprideparade.org/youball.

June is Pride Month, with citizens and members of the LGBTQIA+ community and allies celebrating progress in equity and inclusivity. The Springfield Pride Parade continues to be a proactive advocate for LGBTQIA+ perspectives. The Safe Space Initiative is asking local businesses for their commitment to combat hate speech, hateful actions, or aggression against the LGBTQIA+ community. Current Safe Spaces include Dewey’s Jazz Lounge, TD Bank, Focus Springfield, White Lion Brewery, Starbucks, Springfield Public Schools, Granny’s Baking Table, Monsoon Roastery, Del Rey Taqueria, Tapestry Health, and Springfield City Hall.