Willa DeWhisp sings during 2023 Warren County Pride at Betts Park on June 17, 2023. Photo by Brian Hagberg.

Touring Warren County: Warren County Pride

June 19, 2023

WARREN, Pa. – Thousands descended upon Betts Park on Saturday for the fourth annual Warren County Pride celebration.

The family-friendly event continued its growth, encompassing the park’s west end with vendors, information booths, food trucks, and many rainbow flags.

“It (the growth) says to me that there’s a need and a desire for that sense of community,” Warren County Pride President Sara Provencio said during Coffee & a Conversation ahead of the event. “To extend from the people of Warren to Warren County to Erie and Jamestown and Buffalo and Cleveland and Pittsburgh. It makes it broader and broader to the people that we’re attracting. And it makes it feel like Warren is a really welcoming place.”

Along with a pair of drag shows featuring performers from both the local area and as far away as Pittsburgh and Buffalo, this year’s event featured both a pet costume contest and a human costume contest.

2023 Warren County Pride photos by Brian Hagberg
[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”108″ gal_title=”2023 Warren County Pride”]

The top prize in the human costume contest went to a team of Pride-supporting, ghost-busting heroes from North PA Ghostbusters. The event also featured a demonstration from Enchanted Mountain Roller Derby.

North PA Ghostbusters won top prize in the 2023 Warren County Pride costume contest. Photo by Brian Hagberg.

“I’ve lived in some big cities, and Pride looks different in every city,” Erie City Council member Susannah Faulkner, one of the featured speakers, said. “It looks different in San Francisco than in London, and it looks different in Erie and in Warren. What you’re doing here, and the future you’re creating for the youth here, and the pets, is absolutely gorgeous.”

Faulkner focused most of her speech on the need for LGBTQ+ community members to get registered and vote if they want to see legislative change such as the current PA Fairness Act, which would grant protections to LGBTQ+ community members in housing, education, and public accommodations.

“Pride, at its core, is a protest,” Faulkner said. “And we are here today standing together.”

Though it’s grown rapidly over the past three years, Provencio said she hopes 2024 Pride will be even more prominent.

“We’d like to get bigger,” Provencio said. “We’re hoping to get some bigger name speakers. We’d like to make 2024 a big event. We’re going to be reaching out . . . and seeing how best we can do that.”

The Touring Warren County series on Your Daily Local is sponsored by the Warren County Visitors Bureau. Visit them at their office on Route 6 or online at wcvb.net.

See all the installments of our Touring Warren County series here.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Previous Story

Paving Project set to Begin in Youngsville Borough, Pittsfield and Brokenstraw Townships

Next Story

Suspect Arraigned in Kidnapping of Sheffield Couple

Subscribe to our newsletter

White Cane Coffee presents Coffee & a Conversation

Don't Miss