Wilton Pride, in partnership with the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT), will hold its first annual Push N’ Pull Parade on Sunday, Sept. 24, from 1-4 p.m. on the NRVT in Wilton. The event will feature music, festivities, flair, ‘Best’ contests, and much more.
The Parade was originally scheduled in June as part of the Be You events organized by Wilton Pride in collaboration with town organizations and businesses to celebrate Pride Month.
NRVT Executive Director Andrea Gartner was thrilled to announce the joint effort.
“We know that the NRVT is one of the most loved treasures of our community and we embrace the opportunity to collaborate with Wilton Pride and showcase the NRVT’s accessibility to all by celebrating with a parade on the NRVT. The Wilton Pride Push N’ Pull Parade is a fun and healthy way to raise awareness, get people outdoors enjoying the woods, and most importantly proudly supporting our queer community,” she said.
Wilton Pride President Farah Masani underscored the significance for the group of creating such partnerships with other community organizations.
“It is important to come together as a community in as many ways as possible to create a safe and healthy space where we can celebrate LGBTQ+ families of Wilton and beyond. Wilton Pride continues to collaborate with anchors of the community that share our vision of making Wilton a place where the LGBTQ+ community is welcome, safe, supported, and celebrated,” she said, adding, “We are excited to share this magical and festive afternoon with our Wilton Community.”
Both organizations promise an afternoon of fun and activities for all ages.
The parade will start out at the NRVT trailhead on Rt. 7 at Wolfpit Rd., best accessed from across from the commuter parking lot in Wilton. Once there, participants will check-in at registration, enjoy motivational activities to get into the parade spirit (including a selfie booth filled with props and swag), and be encouraged to enter the ‘best of’ contests (details below).
Then paraders will take their Pride to the trail, to walk, dance, run, bike, stroll, roll, and enjoy the NRVT. The parade route leads to the parking lot at Sharp Hill Rd. and Autumn Ridge Dr. for the next bit of fun.
Once there, participants can enjoy some treats, listen to music, and hang out. There will be an opportunity to meet new people, and learn about Proud Academy, Pollinator Pathways, and different ways to support the NRVT and Wilton Pride. Also, all the ‘Best’ contest winners will be announced here.
Pride Best Dressed Contest: participants and dress to impress and be considered for prizes to be awarded in the following categories:
- Best Embodiment of PRIDE
- Best Use of Color
- Best Creative Use of Flair
One winner will be awarded in each category. Entrants must have proof of ticket purchase to be considered in the competition.
The cost to participate is $10 for a small group (1-2 people); $20 for a medium group (3-5 people); and $35 for a large group (6-10 people). Register and purchase tickets online. Proceeds support NRVT and Wilton Pride, which both rely on community contributors to fund their work in the community.
Masani noted that Wilton Pride’s partnership with the NRVT marks the newest addition to a growing list of collaborations with the recently-established Wilton Pride and its mission to support Wilton’s LGBTQ+ community and allies. Other participating partners include Wilton Library, Riverbrook Regional YMCA, Wilton Youth Council, Trackside Teen Center, Middlebrook PTA, Wilton High School PTSA, Middlebrook GSA, Wilton High School GSA, Domestic Violence Crisis Center (DVCC), American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Kids in Crisis, and members of Girl Scout Troop #50798.