Monet X Change, Laila McQueen Make Rhode Island Pride Louder And Prouder For 2018

The “Drag Race” alums joined 75,000 attendees at Providence’s nighttime parade.

Providence, Rhode Island, was illuminated by more than just the rainbow Saturday, as close to 75,000 people attended the region’s only nighttime Pride parade. Dozens of advocacy groups, performers, businesses, and local politicians marched in the 43rd annual procession, one of the oldest Prides in the country.

The theme for 2018 was "Louder and Prouder," a call to arms in the era of Donald Trump. "It’s an intention, a goal—maybe a promise," grand marshal Ashley Delgado, a former Miss Lesbian Rhode Island, told WPRI 12. "Everyone’s got to try and do a little bit more."

Friday night, Washington Street was jammed with revelers at a block party featuring drag entertainers and '80s pop star Tiffany.

Saturday afternoon, South Water Street was converted into an LGBTQ street fair, with performances by Drag Race queens Monet X Change and Laila McQueen, local drag stars Kira Stone and Annie B. Frank, rockers Jodi Jolt and the Volts, comedian John Kelley, and others​. ​

Providence-based Hasbro Toys even sponsored a kid’s area where families could play games, make crafts and cool off.

But the real show began at sundown Saturday, as a dazzling array of floats and marching groups made their way down Washington Street. The crowds roars for everyone from SAGE and PFLAG to New York’s Big Apple Marching Band and a flatbed truck filled with Rocky Horror aficionados. Also on hand were Mayor Jorge Elorza, Governor Gina Raimondo and other politicians and candidates.

All weekend long The Stable, The Dark Lady, EGO, the Eagle, Mirabar were jammed to the rafters with locals and out-of-towners celebrating inclusion, love and equality. This year, Rhode Island Pride was voted one of the seven best Pride events in the world by National Geographic.

Below, check out more photos from Rhode Island Pride

Dan Avery

Dan Avery

Dan Avery

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