50TH Annual Roc Pride Picnic

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – Genesee Valley Park was filled with colors of the rainbow as hundreds gathered for Rochester’s 50th annual Pride Picnic. People at the event tell News10NBC’s Stephanie Duprey that festivals and parades are fun to be at, but there’s a meaning behind them.

For the events we’ve been to so far, the focus has been pride history. That pride is not just for the LGBTQ+ community, it’s for everyone. The very first Roc Pride Picnic at Genesee Valley Park was in 1972, fast forward to 2022, Scott Fearing, who is on the board of directors for Rainbow Seniors Roc, says acceptance has come a long way.

"For the first couple of decades, the picnic occurred a lot of people didn’t come beyond maybe just the LGBTQ+ communities," Fearing said.

The picnic is put on by Roc Pride Collective, some of the highlights, are basket raffles, drag shows, sing-a-longs, and of course, food!

Vendors we spoke to, say they feel there’s still a ways to go when it comes to "Inclusion", but it feels good to see people being themselves.

"I see people representing themselves with flags on their front porches whereas two, four, five years ago there was a little more hate in the world," said Paul, a vendor.

Some folks, who have been part of the picnic for many years applauded the city of Rochester for how inclusive it has been, is, and continues to be for the LGBTQ+ community.

"Pride goes back more than 50 years, but this is for Rochester, and it’s great to see it grow each year, this is not my first year at this picnic, it’s great to see the community come together, celebrating what makes Rochester the great city that it is,” Timothy Cosgriff told us.

"It’s wonderful to see so many people here today celebrating with us, the inclusion that is part of Rochester’s history,” Fearing added.