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Norwalk photos: Pride in the Park

A Pride in the Park entertainer, Saturday in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

NORWALK, Conn. — Fairfield County Pride in the Park returned to Matthews Park after a two-year absence Friday, bringing joyous people to Norwalk.

The LGBTQ+ fun reportedly included a family field day in the morning, followed by drag queens performing on the stage while folks lounged on the lawn, got eats from food trucks or browsed the many exhibit booths nearby.

Included at the Triangle Community Center event were at least two opportunities to win a free prize, including a stay at Foxwoods Casino. ASML advertised itself as a place where employees can be themselves and gave away totes, hand sanitizer or a flag, depending on where the spinning wheel landed or what Norwalker Eddie Melina said was OK.

Saturday afternoon in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

Norwalk students’ artwork was featured at the Norwalk Federation of Teachers booth. NFT President Mary Yordon said the work was slated to be shown at the Silvermine Arts Center but that plan was cancelled when the pandemic hit.

“It’s been really fun,” Yordon said. “The kids have been coming through and seeing their art.”

Not everyone needed a booth to promote their activities. Patricia Nicolari, who was watching the drag show, said the Proud Academy is opening in New Haven. According to her LinkedIn page, it’s a “safe educational space for students who feel marginalized based on their sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, race, religion, socioeconomic status, or disability.”

The Triangle Community Center’s website explains Pride in the Park.

“It is time we celebrated and spoke up to let the world know we are here and we are not going anywhere!” Triangle Community Center Executive Director Edson Rivas wrote. “It is time to say GAYYYYYYYY even louder than before and stand up for those in our community whose lives are being erased by the litany of anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ+ bills making the rounds in our United States of America.”

An entrance to Matthews Park, Saturday at the Triangle Community Center’s Pride in the Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

A Pride in the Park entertainer, Saturday in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

Dan Desrochers, left, hosts the Foxwoods Casino spinning wheel as Tawana Avery of New York, center, takes a shot and her daughter, Octavia Avery of Bridgeport, right, watches. Tawana Avery won earbuds. Minutes later, two men won a free stay at Foxwoods. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

Cathy Greco of Norwalk models a vintage hat at the Wilton Quaker Meeting thrift booth. It was part of the merchandise for sale in hopes of raising money for bike locks to accompany donated refurbished bikes that will be given away to low income people this summer. For more info, text 917-312-4601. (Diane Keefe)

The Wilton Quaker Meeting booth, Saturday afternoon in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

The TD Bank booth, where visitors were asked what they would like the power to do. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

Saturday in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

Group shot, Saturday afternoon in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

A Pride in the Park entertainer, Saturday in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

Shannon Bielik of New Britain and Jordan Shortt of Litchfield, enjoy each other a drag show continues nearby, Saturday afternoon in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

From left, Shannon Bielik of New Britain, Jordan Shortt of Litchfield and Dylan DeClayboork of New Britain, Saturday afternoon in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

The Norwalk Federation of Teachers booth, showcasing student art that was expected to be in an exhibit before the pandemic hit and cancelled that plan. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

Sofia Cuevas’s painting, right, is part of her Advance Placement exam, Norwalk Federation of Teachers President Mary Yordon said. Sofia, a senior, is headed for Rhode Island School of Design. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

Eddie Melina, a Norwalk resident, entices visitors to spin the wheel and win a prize at the ASML booth, Saturday afternoon in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

The ASML booth, Saturday afternoon in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

Saturday afternoon in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

The Norwalk Democrats’ booth, Saturday afternoon in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

A Pride in the Park entertainer, Saturday in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

A Pride in the Park entertainer ventures into the audience, Saturday in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

Mia EZLay and Professor M lead the entertainment, Saturday afternoon in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

Saturday in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

Triangle Community Center Board President Colin Hosten, who is also Norwalk Board of Education Chairman, Saturday afternoon in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

Saturday afternoon in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

Allison Chica of Port Chester, N.Y., gets a commemorative photo with Mia EZLay, right, Saturday afternoon in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

A Pride in the Park entertainer, Saturday in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

The Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut booth, Saturday afternoon in Matthews Park. (Nancy Guenther Chapman)

16 comments

Margaret June 13, 2022 at 8:32 am

Interesting there are many events in Norwalk I wonder why Pride in the Park gets such massive press. Come on Nancy level playing field please

Johnny cardamone June 13, 2022 at 9:04 am

So this is enlightened Norwalk now drag queen shows for the children!?🥵👎🏽 judge Bork was prophetic many years ago when he said we are slouching toward Gomorrah😩 Repent!🙏🏼🇺🇸🔯🌎✝️🦔

Margaret June 13, 2022 at 5:17 pm

Exactly Johnny can’t see how it is at all appropriate for the young children that were there. 29 Pictures posted Why?

Virginia F Balser June 14, 2022 at 6:45 am

Why not celebrate such a positive event, Margaret? It looks like it was a wonderful community time, filled with acceptance, joy and love.

Victor Budnik June 14, 2022 at 7:33 am

Totally unapproperett for young children to see and understand what is going on in the LGBT community! To show strippers in drag! Etc.! Shame on our politicians for letting this happen! Shame on society!! Victor from Norwalk retired veteran!

David June 14, 2022 at 8:36 am

Margaret, it’s because the Illuminati are coming to eat your babies, that’s why!!!

Ok, seriously, take a chill pill. It’s ‘Norwalk Photos’, plural, it was a big event. Post lore, I say.

It was a great event. I know that because I was there, with my kids. There was nothing inappropriate about it, unless you consider some good natured fun as falling into that category. Or, you’re a raging homophobe. That would do it too.

A well behaved crowd with lots of great vibes. I look forward to next years event already.

JB June 14, 2022 at 11:19 am

The reason? Because of folks like you who won’t acknowledge the world is made up of different kinds of people. Imagine if just one of those kids who attended realizes that they are not alone – that there is a whole community who will embrace them for who they are. That’s certainly better than the alternative. Suicide rates are higher than ever among LGBTQ+ kids. Have a heart for goodness sake.

Norwalk Republican Family June 14, 2022 at 12:31 pm

Its no surprise this happened. Especially with how Superintendent Estrella hosted an event when she was NYC Super, where children were subjected to a drag queen dancing in a lewd manner. A man (who will never be a real woman) exposed whats between his legs to children. And this is where our tax dollars go.

This is the society the left wants.

Claire C Schoen June 14, 2022 at 12:53 pm

NancyOnNorwalk consists of one reporter who cannot be everywhere at once. She is supported by a team of (unpaid) volunteers. We work hard to bring you a slice of Norwalk.
@Margaret, do you know of any freelancers who would like to work with us? Are there events for which you would like to submit photos? We welcome hearing from our readers, but I hope everyone understands how much of a barebones operation we are. Seriously, if there are freelancers who would like to write for us, please reach out.
Thanks.

David June 14, 2022 at 6:12 pm

Strippers? Exposing of genitals?

Clearly the deluded fantasies of people who weren’t there. Rather than wallowing in your delusions, why not set your baggage down and come to the next event. You’ll see how harmless it is and you might (shock/awe) even enjoy yourself!!

Piet Marks June 15, 2022 at 8:33 am

Having Fun is GOOD thing and it looks like a lot of people are having FUN and nobody is getting hurt and that is really a Good thing.

Steve Mann June 16, 2022 at 9:54 am

@Piet, if “everyone having fun” is the criteria for accepting things like this, then there are some fairly useless laws on the books.

David June 16, 2022 at 1:12 pm

I guarantee the church you attend has child predators present. Read the headlines, it might even be the priests / pastors. Way more dangerous than an open park with families and security. You should start there before you bring your baggage mainstream.

josie sangione June 16, 2022 at 3:59 pm

Bob Duff, pandering…again. This should have had a warning label for parents with children. Never would I bring any young child to such a audacious spectacle. Disgusting. A whole month for a group that doesn’t do much for society but the Vets get ONE day?? How despicable.

Andrew June 17, 2022 at 8:27 am

@josie sangione, just a heads up, google is free. The entire month of May is Military Appreciation Month. It’s quite despicable, and disgusting that you want to give the appearance of being for our troops, while not doing any actual research.

For everyone else who think child predators were present, your bigotry and homophobia are showing. Educate yourself before you speak. Also, Matt Gatez was most likely in Florida, and I believe most church going people weren’t at this event so I’m sure any children who were at the event were safe.

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