I think... if it is true that
there are as many minds as there
are heads, then there are as many
kinds of love as there are hearts.”
Idyllically situated along the banks of the Delaware River is the town of New Hope, PA. Strolling across the bridge, watching the ducks and occasional swans paddling by, residents and visitors are awed by the beauty surrounding them.
A friend of mine told me it was “magical” and once you lived here you could never leave. The “magic” is not only in the area’s beauty, but in the hearts of the people who live here and the community they have formed.
New Hope has long been an attraction for artists. In 1898, impressionist painter William Lathrop moved here and started the art colony of New Hope. A long line of artists would follow, bringing along their paint brushes and diversity.
When the Bucks County Playhouse opened in 1939, it brought to town Broadway and Hollywood stars. People flocked to New Hope and bought summer homes, being in close proximity to New York and Philadelphia. They fell in love and stayed.
With only 1.42 square miles, New Hope is huge on embracing everyone. New Hope Celebrates was founded in 2003 by Daniel Brooks to promote tourism and serve the LGBTQ+ community. Now in their 16th. year, they are still going strong as an all-volunteer organization. Their mission statement reads, “New Hope Celebrates brings people together to share in a celebration of our history, diversity and the inclusiveness of our community.”
Every May, amidst the cherry blossoms and tulips, New Hope Celebrates brings thousands of visitors and residents together for the annual PrideFest.
This year on May 11, the Equality Flag will be unfurled in New Hope from atop the Starbucks Building. Making it even more special is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City this summer, which was the catalyst for equal rights in the LGBTQ+ community. As many times as I have seen the flag unfurled, it never fails to provoke a strong emotion. An homage to all those who fought for their rights, the colors of the flag represent life, healing, serenity and spirit among others.
There are festivities during the week and a Best Cocktail Contest at designated restaurants and bars. May 18 is the Pride Parade and Fair. New Hope Celebrates’ Parade is the only Pride Parade which crosses state lines, starting in Lambertville, NJ and crossing over the Delaware River into New Hope, PA.
It is at the Parade that you can feel the “magic” in the air; a coming together of everyone in celebration of love and diversity. It is more than a parade; it is New Hope’s way of showing the world what it is like to be proud of who you are.
After the Parade is the Pride Fair. There will be music, food and crafts, but most importantly “togetherness,” where friends new and old will meet and celebrate. On Sunday, May 19 the festivities will continue. Whether you are new to PrideFest or have been coming for years, it is not to be missed. The “magic” will draw you in and yes, it is possible that you will never want to leave!
For more information about PrideFest and New Hope Celebrates go to www.newhopecelebrates.com.