Dena Stanley, founder and co-executive director of TransYOUniting, said during a virtual press conference this morning that "there was a lot of logistics" in securing this location — the Three Rivers Arts festival was forced to move from the park in 2022 the face of state regulations — but Stanley says "we worked it out" in cooperation with the city, state, and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
The move also allows the event, officially entitled Still We Rise: A Pride Revolution, to avoid the Kenny Chesney concert at Acrisure Stadium that Saturday given safety concerns. The country artist's fans have become infamous in Pittsburgh for their raucous partying. Pride on the Shore is scheduled to remain at Stage AE.
Last year's parade, which concluded on the North Side, saw nearly 200,000 attendees. Organizers say this motivated them to move back to the Golden Triangle for the sake of centrality, access, and safety for all who come into town for the parade. In addition, they say the coincidence of Pride with other Downtown events better represents the intersectionality of the celebration, which now centers Black, trans, and other populations who felt less included by the pre-2021 celebration helmed by the now-dissolved Delta Foundation.
"We want to make sure that everyone feels safe, feel seen, feels heard and feels a part of this festival," TransYOUniting co-exective director Dalen Michael said. "It has been a little bit of a process for our team to come together and make sure that everyone feels included."
They say the team considered everything from choice of performers to family-friendly elements to ensure the parade is accessible to the broadest range of potential attendees.
"There's so many things going on in the city that weekend, which is great for people who are traveling in," Michael added.
The relocated celebration is accompanied by an overhauled website. Vic Costik, founder and principal designer of inSkapa Design who designed the updated site, said, "I think it's going to be easy or easier than ever this year to actually navigate the site [and] figure out what you want to do leading up to the event."
Stanley said the move to Downtown is a "trial run" given some paradegoers' positive response to last year's North Side route, "but there was a lot of community members that would love to see it back downtown.
"So where else to put it but in Point State Park?" she added.
All organizers present stressed that the updated Pride offers something for everyone who wants to vend, march, or simply revel in the event's celebration of community. "There's the festival, there's the parade, there's the concert series, there's all that," Costik said. "But pride is a celebration of you. And you get to decide how you celebrate."
Organizers said continued growth and diverse attendance means everything as the LGBTQ community continues to make its voice heard. "We're gonna continue to fight the great fight to exist in this world," Stanley said. "Anytime we have an opportunity to come together and commune, it's a great celebration to let other folks know, within a community, 'I see you.'"
Pittsburgh Pride: Still We Rise 2024 will take place downtown and in Bloomfield May 31 through June 2.