Manchester Pride Parade 2024: A community where everyone belongs

Photos by Jeffrey Hastings/Frame of Mind Photo



MANCHESTER, NH – Unlike last year’s Pride Festival, in which rain poured down on the event, rain visited Manchester the day before Pride on June 14. By the time the morning of the 15th came around, the sky was clear and rainbows were everywhere – just in time for the pride parade, which this year took place on Elm Street rather than Canal Street.

A long line of people followed the parade, many of whom took up position in front of the stage in Veterans Park, others of whom walked around, taking in the event. In attendance were Alderman Pat Long, former Alderman-at-Large June Trisciani, and Chair of the Planning Board Bryce Kaw-uh.

Keith Marcoux Jr. and Keith Marcoux Sr., owners of the Keke’s Dream store, were unable to secure a spot to sell products due to a logistical mix-up. Both men, in addition to Marcoux Sr.’s wife, were in attendance with their usual bright, jovial smiles, ready to chat up friends, acquaintances, and strangers alike.


Also in attendance were three religious organizations: Grace Episcopal Church, the First Congregational Church, and the Deerfield Community Church. Unlike other Pridefests, in which the presence of religious individuals brings forth peacekeepers and counter-protestors, those who attended Pride this year were supportive of the LGBT community. 

Among those were Reverend Kurt Walker of the Deerfield Community Church in Deerfield, NH.

“We are here to stand as an ally to our LGBTQIA siblings,” Walker said. “We recognize that the church over its lifespan has denigrated and pushed aside, pushed out, pushed away our LGBTQIA siblings. We are here to say: we love you, God loves you, and most importantly, you are beloved and you are precious. You are worthy.”

A variety of leftist political groups attended as well, from the Democratic Party, to the Democratic Socialists of America, to the Southern New Hampshire Party for Liberation and Socialism. A variety of people milled about the Democratic Party party’s tent, signing up to be volunteers.

“We are to spread the news of Democratic Socialism and a peoples’ democracy,” Ariel Moore, the co-chair of the Southern New Hampshire Democratic Socialists of America, said. “We are fighting for a world beyond capitalism and a much more progressive and worker-friendly alternative to the Democratic Party. DSA is a member-run organization. We do not take any funds or grants from NGOs (non-government organization).”


The effort to bring so many people together in one place started two months after last year’s Pride ended in August 2023- 10 months before the event itself. The event was organized by Manchester True Collaborative, an organization currently affiliated with the YWCA, but which hopes to become a non-profit in its own right. The group hopes to eventually open an LGBT center in Manchester.

Volunteers of Manchester True, who went around the event wearing purple shirts, put in over 1,000 hours combined to make this year’s Pridefest happen.

“Manchester True is currently an organization and program at the YWCA New Hampshire,” the lead organizer, Scott Cloutier, said. “[Organizing the event] was definitely a lot of work. It’s been great. It’s very exciting. We’ve had nothing, really truly, but open arms by the city and all of the organizations that agreed to participate. It’s been incredible.”