STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Hundreds of people came out and spent their Sunday at the Pocono Pride Festival.
It’s the first time this festival was held in Stroudsburg. Courthouse Square was packed with people eating, dancing, and having a good time.
“It’s just this big great achievement of ours,” Pocono Chamber of Commerce executive vice president Michael Moreno said.
The Pocono Chamber’s LGBTQ-Plus Business Council planned to host the festival in 2020 but it was postponed and eventually cancelled due to the pandemic. Moreno hopes the festival will show people, especially youth, of all sexual orientations or gender identities, that they are supported.
“They may not be out this time, they may be in the cars with their parents, maybe walking around but they’re seeing that their community is welcoming. It’s certainly encouraging because they know that their community supports them,” Moreno said.
“I really want to encourage people like me that it’s okay to be trans and all,” Wade Roldan of Stroudsburg said.
Roldan is still coming out to his community. He tells Eyewitness News he’s very nervous and has had social anxiety due to the process.
“I wanted to break that habit so I’m like ‘hey Mom is there any pride parades out?’. She said ‘yes’. She sent me the link to this one. I’m like ‘Oh’! So I got fully interested and I got my flag and I’m like you know what mom I wanna come so here I am,” Roldan said.
The Montalvos of Stroudsburg came to the festival to show their support, and to teach their daughter a valuable lesson.
“It’s important to me that Ashley grows up knowing that there’s all kinds of love in the world and to be accepting of it and to feel comfortable in her own skin and support other people and love is love is love,” Rene Montalvo said.
Organizers expected about 3000 people at Sunday’s fair.