Home Culture Out Montclair’s First-Ever Pride Festival Happening This June

Out Montclair’s First-Ever Pride Festival Happening This June

by Hoboken Girl Team
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Every year in June, the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies gather together to celebrate Pride. For the first time ever, local non-profit Out Montclair is hosting Montclair Pride with a festival + concert on Saturday, June 11th as the final event of Pride 2022. The Montclair Girl is proud to be the main stage sponsor for this year’s festival. Keep reading for the full lineup of Pride events leading up to the festival happening this month in Montclair.

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Pride Week: Nine Days of Events + Performances

Montclair Pride will be a day filled with performances, art, culture, food, and music celebrated on two stages across Downtown Montclair, with special guest speakers and LGBTQIA+ talent, surrounded and supported by more than 150 renowned institutions and businesses as partners and sponsors in one of the largest Pride festivals in the state’s history. 

Leading up to the main event on June 11th, Out Montclair has scheduled nine days of other events and performances.

Pride Night at the Museum | 3 South Mountain Avenue

Thursday, June 2nd at 5PM

This free opening night party and pre-party VIP fundraiser reception will feature artist Kyle Meyer at the Montclair Art Museum.

Movie Night Under the Stars | Lackawanna Plaza

Friday, June 3rd at 7PM

The gates at Lackawanna Plaza will open at 7PM for a free screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and a live pre-show and performance by The Ordinary Kids. Local shops will have items for sale including Montclair Pride Brew, The General Store at Cornerstone, Little Daisy Bake Shop, and The Hot Dog Lady. This event is in partnership with Montclair Film.

Pride Workout Weekend | Various Locations

Friday June 3rd to Sunday, June 5th

At least 9 fitness locations throughout Montclair will host nearly 20 classes including yoga, cycling, CrossFit, HIIT, rowing, and a fun run.

Drag Variety Show | 180 Bloomfield Avenue 

Monday, June 6th at 7:30PM

Fierce and fabulous drag stars will wow and entertain audiences at the Vanguard Theater Company. Dinner and drinks will be available for purchase. Doors open one hour before curtain for this already sold out event.

Reading Scripture with Pride | 67 Church Street

Tuesday, June 7th

This powerful event, framing the teachings of scripture on the side of loving all people, will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church as a collaboration with Congregation Shomrei Emunah and Union Congregational Church in Montclair and includes an interfaith celebration and reception to explore how faith can and should honor and affirm LGBTQ people.

Drag Queens and Doughnuts | 16 Label Street

Wednesday, June 8th at 6PM

Presented by Out Montclair + Rabble Rise Doughnuts, each entry will provide participants with two naked doughnuts and a bar of toppings to dress them up. Favorite local drag queens will provide participants with inspiration and help you to select the perfect toppings. The decorating line will be available from 6PM to 7:30PM followed by a mini, family-friendly drag show on the patio.

Pride Stride | 101 Walnut Street

Thursday, June 9th

Sponsored by Fleet Feet, Montclair Brewery, and Brooks, this fun run + walk is already sold out!

Montclair Pride Festival | Downtown Montclair

Saturday, June 11th from 12PM to 6PM

Out Montclair will host the first-ever Pride Festival including a huge festival, interactive art, a beer garden, live music by artists ranging from local to international stars. Judy Gold, a New Jersey native and nationally-known comedian, will emcee the main stage at the Montclair Pride Festival. Performances will feature actress and trans activist Peppermint; the Broadway cast of Jagged Little Pill; Emmy-award winner Dyllón Burnside from Pose; Tony-award winner Laura Benanti; trans activist Carmen Carrera; and the cast of Rent, from the Vanguard Theater Company.

On the School of Rock kids and family stage, there will be the School of Rock Montclair band, Jazz House Kids, APEX Ensemble, and Drums of Thunder, in addition to local LGBTQ talent who embody the Montclair Pride theme: “Be You. Be Heard”. Montclair Pride is showing the world that families are families, love is love, and all are welcome to be themselves and to contribute, succeed, and celebrate. The Family Zone will have everything kids and families love to do including art, music, books, games, and singing.

Other moments will be the keynote “Be You. Be Heard.” address by Out Montclair Founder and President, Peter Yacobellis; who is also a long time national LGBTQ+ activist. Attorney General Matthew Platkin will speak to New Jersey’s commitment to protect, defend, and treasure LGBTQ residents. Montclair’s Congressional representatives Mikie Sherrill and Donald Payne, Jr., along with Mayor of Montclair Sean Spiller, will also rally the crowd. 

Montclair Pride Concert at the Wellmont Theater  | 5 Seymour Street

Saturday, June 11th at 7PM

Montclair Pride will conclude with a concert featuring Australian singer/songwriter Betty Who at 7PM at the Wellmont Theater. Los Angeles based Alt Rock duo, Fab the Duo, will be the opening act for the concert.

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Betty Who has had multiple #1s on Billboard charts including Hot 100 and Top Dance Club charts like her breakout hit “Somebody Loves You,” as well as “All of You,”and “All Things,” her cover of Netflix’s Queer Eye opening number.

The Wellmont Theater, located at 5 Seymour Street in Montclair, is one of eight event sponsors of Montclair Pride, a festival to represent and honor Montclair’s long-standing reputation as a welcoming place for LGBTQIA+ people and our allies, families, and neighbors.

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Where to Park for Pride Week

Locals are encouraged to bike or walk to the festival so limited parking spaces can be reserved for those coming from out of town. Bike parking will be available on Park Street just south of Portland Place and Bay Street Station connects NJ Transit trains to Newark and Penn Station in Manhattan. In addition to street parking and municipal lots, Montclair has over 1,500 public parking spots for those who are driving, at the following locations:

Bay Street Parking Deck | 21 Pine Street in Montclair

South Fullerton Deck | Behind 23 South Fullerton Street

The Crescent Deck | 13 The Crescent

Valley Road Parking | 34 Valley Road

Lackawanna Plaza | 233 Bloomfield Avenue + 1 Lackawanna Plaza

parking options montclair

Where to Stay in Essex County

Essex County is home to multiple hotels ideally located for Pride Week Events. Hotels located in Montclair are a short walk or drive from downtown. Hotels in West Orange aren’t much farther — a quick 15-minute drive will have you to Pride Week events in no time.

The George | 37 N Mountain Avenue #2317, Montclair

The MC Hotel | 690 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair

Courtyard by Marriott | 8 Rooney Circle, West Orange

Cambria Hotel | 12 Rooney Circle, West Orange

Residence Inn | 107 Prospect Avenue, West Orange

The Wilshire Grand Hotel | 350 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange

Behind the Scenes of Out Montclair

Out Montclair was founded in 2021 as a non-profit organization to support and provide solidarity for the LGBTQIA+ individuals in and around Montclair. The organization hosts events to bring the community together and provide safe spaces to find friendship, camaraderie, and resources for people of all ages. Reflecting the community of creative, compassionate, and fun-loving LGBTQIA+ individuals who live in and around Montclair, this volunteer-run organization places a special focus on programs specifically designed for teens, 21+, families, and 50+.

Out Montclair has had considerable support from the get-go when it first launched in 2021. Peter Yacobellis acts as the President of Out Montclair and is the first openly LGBTQ+ elected official in the town, as one of two at-large Council Members. Other founders include Peter Holm as the current Treasurer for Out Montclair, Reubena Spence and Madeline Gale from the town’s Civil Rights Commission and long time advocate Bill Courson.

Masters of their crafts, Marie Cottrell serves as Montclair Pride Event Director, Andy Kahnke as Creative Director, GLAAD’s Barbara Simon as head of Communications, Claire-Voe Ocampo as head of Sponsorships and Matt Sandoski as head of festival logistics.

“We bring together people who understand and embrace the importance of community, who are of the diverse LGBTQIA+ community, and our allies who are drawn to Montclair as a place of uncommon acceptance, unity, creativity, and joy,” Barbara Simon, the Director of Communications at Out Montclair, shared with The Montclair Girl. “We offer educational and charitable activities + events to promote inclusivity and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, non-binary, and gender-fluid youth + adults.”

Montclair is steeped with talent in the creative arts, communications, culture, business, and community-building. Out Montclair provides a unifying organization to bring out the creative and committed community members to design events and create space for learning and understanding for non-LGBTQIA+ individuals.

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pride events montclair

The Montclair Girl is excited to be a sponsor at Out Montclair’s Pride Festival. Be sure to stop by our table to say hello and enter to win a giveaway featuring a few amazing Essex County businesses.

The Pride Festival is on Saturday, June 11th in Downtown Montclair. Events will run from 12PM to 6PM, including the Betty Who concert which starts at 7PM at the Wellmont Theater. You can reach out to info@outmontclair.org to volunteer for Pride or events throughout the year, become a sponsor for programming, or offer ideas for collaboration + community. Follow along at @outmontclair for upcoming events.

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